Published: Thu, November 23, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

'Provocation': Moscow demands release of Russian senator detained in France

'Provocation': Moscow demands release of Russian senator detained in France

A public prosecutor said in Nice Wednesday Kerimov would appear in court to be formally placed under judicial investigation, which frequently results in a trial in France.

Moscow, Nov 22 Moscow summoned a senior French diplomat on Monday over the arrest of Russian oligarch and senator Suleyman Kerimov in Nice in connection to a tax evasion case.

"The senator status and the fact that he is a Russian citizen is a guarantee that we will, of course, put in all possible efforts to defend his lawful interests", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

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The controversial 51-year-old oligarch, who made a fortune by investing in struggling companies, represents the Caucasian Republic of Dagestan — where he was born — in the Council of the Russian Federation, the upper house of Parliament.

"Commenting on the detention, French Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne said that the lawmaker can enjoy immunity only for actions which are carried out within the framework of fulfillment of his duties".

Forbes magazine listed Kerimov as Russia's 21st richest person with a net worth of about $6.7 billion. The 51-year-old shot to global prominence after he bought Russian football club, Anzhi Makhachkala in 2011, buying start players such as Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto'o to play for his side.

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In March this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree giving Kerimov the state award "For Services to the Fatherland, second class" for his contribution to Russian parliamentary life.

According to Slychkova, the member of the Russian upper house was detained and "transferred to a police station" after arriving from Moscow to Nice late on Monday.

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