France drops prostitution case against Russia's richest man | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, September 28, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, September 28, 2009

France drops prostitution case against Russia's richest man

French prosecutors have dropped a case against Russia's richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov, two years after he was arrested on suspicion of running a prostitution ring, officials said Monday.
Police arrested Prokhorov on January 9, 2007 along with about 25 others in the upscale Alpine ski resort of Courchevel and later released him without charge.
Prosecutors in Lyon decided on August 7 to close the case after a two-year investigation and no charges were laid against Prokhorov, said the billionaire's lawyer in a statement.
The lawyer welcomed the decision but took a swipe at French justice, saying he regretted that officials "did not come to terms with their initial mistake earlier."
But Lyon prosecutor Xavier Richaud blamed Russia for the drawn-out process, saying Moscow authorities had been uncooperative in the investigation.
Russian prosecutors turned down requests for information, saying that since the probe targeted "one of Russia's most important companies", it could "undermine the Russian federation's interests."
Now Russia's richest man at the head of the Onexim Group investment fund, Prokhorov was chairman and chief executive of Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel producer, at the time of the Courchevel scandal.
The 44-year-old bachelor is listed as the world's 40th richest man on the Forbes list with an estimated fortune of 9.5 billion dollars (6.5 billion euros).
Prokhorov recently signed a provisional agreement to become majority owner of the US National Basketball Association's New Jersey Nets.
About 50 police officers raided the upmarket hotel where Prokhorov and his entourage were staying in 2007 and arrested 26 people, eight of whom were women in their 20s who said they were models accompanying the tycoon.

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