Kremlin comments on senator's detention in France

Russian billionaire Kerimov charged in France following Moscow protest

Russian billionaire Kerimov charged in France following Moscow protest

In the lower house of parliament, lawmaker Rizvan Kurbanov asked the Russian foreign ministry to make representations on Kerimov's behalf with the French authorities.

Nice public prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre told Sputnik on Sunday that Kerimov, 21st of the richest entrepreneurs in Russian Federation, was taken on Wednesday to the court of Nice where he is being questioned by a judicial investigator.

"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 on November 22.

Shares in Polyus, Russia's biggest gold producer which is controlled by Kerimov's family, were down on the news of his detention.

Russian officials said ownership of a diplomatic passport should protect the senator from prosecution in a foreign state. Russian upper house's speaker Valentina Matvienko said that the Prosecutor General's Office must demand from France to observe the law and immediately release Kerimov.

He shot to fame in the soccer world in 2011 when he bought Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and went on a spectacular spending spree.

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.

Kerimov was arrested in the evening of November 20 at nice airport and taken to the police Department.

Mr Kerimov did not include any property in southern France on his asset declaration as a senator this year and his representative has denied that he owned properties there.

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