Russian billionaire charged in France
PARIS – The Associated Press
Kerimov was detained upon arrival at the airport on Monday, where he faced two days of questioning over alleged tax evasion involving the purchase of luxury properties.
He has now been released under strict conditions including handing over his passport and posting bail of five million euros.
He also faces restrictions on his movement, state prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre said.
A source close to the probe told AFP that Kerimov was accused of hiding tens of millions of euros from tax authorities while buying a string of properties on the glitzy Riviera through intermediaries.
His detention prompted the Russian government to summon France’s deputy ambassador and angry Russian MPs passed a resolution branding the arrest a violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, urging Moscow to press for his release.
“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.
He stressed that 51-year-old Kerimov holds a diplomatic passport, though he is not believed to have used it when he flew into Nice on personal business on Nov. 20.