Cyprus Mail

Former PhosAgro chair Gorbachev says case against Guryev continues

A former chairman of the Russian fertiliser producer PhosAgro has said that a case against the company’s current vice-chairman Andrey Guryev and others, at a Cypriot court, has not been dropped.

At the request of Gorbachev’s lawyers, Attorney-general Costas Clerides “has discontinued the current private criminal proceedings so that Gorbachev and his legal team are allowed to move forward with a new and broader public prosecution, which will bring Guryev and the 13 other defendants in the case to justice in Cyprus,” a spokesperson for Gorbachev said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

Gorbachev’s statement came in response to one on PhosAgro’s website which said that the Limassol district court dropped all charges against the defendants and terminated the proceedings.

In October, Clerides declined to drop the case against Guryev and the other defendants, accused of fraudulently depriving Gorbachev of his 24 per cent stake in the company, estimated at around $1.3bn. Gorbachev is not related to Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the USSR.

The court held that under existing legal arrangements between Cyprus and Russia, criminal summons regarding private proceedings could not be served on a Russian national resident in Russia, the spokesperson said. “The new prospective prosecution led by the attorney-general’s office will enable the serving of summons on all such individuals”.

PhosAgro generated a net loss of $349m in 2014 compared to a net profit of $269m the year before when its turnover fell by $78m to €3.2bn.

“The request was made after a ruling by the same court in parallel proceedings concerning the embezzlement of a 5 per cent shareholding in PHOSCO Ind. worth over $300m, which is the property of a Gorbachev family trust,” Gorbachev’s spokesperson said. “This case is scheduled to be heard in the Limassol district criminal court on the 24th, 25th and 28th May. The trustee and protector of the trust stand accused and both are scheduled to appear in the court at that time”.



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