Basmanniy District Court in Moscow has made on December 23 a decree of detention-in-absentia of Sergey Makhlay, chief of the board of directors of JSC Togliattiazot. Accordingly, JSC Togliattiazot represents that it considers warrantless such criminal prosecution of Sergey Makhlay and will seek for repeal of the decree and reestablishment of legal validity.

Sergei Makhlai does not flee from the prosecution. In 2006 he had to leave Russia for family reasons but never severed connections with it. The remarkable thing is that legal investigation has been lasting for almost two years but investigators never tried to interrogate the chief manager of JSC Togliattiazot within this period. He had been informed neither about engagement as a criminal defendant, nor about a court session during which the decision about detention had been made.

This case appeared to be yet another in the chain of criminal proceedings in relation to the management of JSC Togliattiazot brought before court during the last 10 years on the motions of competitors. Earlier all criminal proceedings had been dismissed. But since 2008 they have been being initiated again by JSC Uralkhim, minority shareholder, which has been keeping up a long-term corporate dispute with JSC Togliattiazot. The statements of the latter became the ground for all charges of the so-called theft by way of under-pricing of the exported ammonia. Unfortunately, the investigative commission does not accept the defense that the international prices for ammonia are not being set at the stock trading as, for example, the prices for oil. Beside that, JSC Togliattiazot sells its products to the final buyers through the trader company which receives a share of profit that is also a basis for major producer’s business operations. However the unprejudiced expertise of the prices for the products being exported by JSC Togliattiazot has never been conducted by the investigative commission and JSC Uralkhim simply manipulates price-setting procedures.

As a reminder, chief of the board of directors of JSC Togliattiazot has earlier stated about attempts of illegal takeover of the enterprise by the minority shareholders. “The only reason why I cannot stay at homeland is the words said to me personally by Dmitry Mazepin (chief of the board of directors of JSC Uralkhim) relating to organization of criminal proceedings against me and other top-managers of JSC Togliattiazot in case of my refuse to accede to his conditions of the enterprise transfer. That is why I interpreted his words as a real threat.” - Sergei Makhlai noted.

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