MINSK, September 9 (RIA Novosti) – The defense team of Russian fertilizer giant Uralkali’s CEO on Monday filed an appeal against a Belarusian court ruling to keep him in pretrial custody, a lawyer said.
Last Friday, a district court in Minsk rejected a motion to release Vladislav Baumgertner, who heads the world’s largest potash producer, from pretrial custody. Baumgertner was detained by Minsk authorities in late August on charges of abuse of office.
“Today we filed an appeal to the Minsk City Court against the ruling of the Parizansky District Court,” lawyer Dmitry Goryachko said. It is yet unknown when the appeal would be heard.
Uralkali claimed that Baumgertner’s arrest was part of a “politically motivated persecution” related to a commercial battle with Uralkali’s former Belarusian partner, Belaruskali.
In July, Uralkali dissolved an international cartel with the Belarusian potash giant, blaming Minsk for selling some of its produce outside their agreement. The move sent shares in fertilizer producers tumbling worldwide and has precipitated a steady fall in fertilizer prices as consumers and traders anticipate increased market competition.