Former Uzbek Prime Minister might be liable in MTS case
TASHKENT, September 20 - RAPSI. The Uzbek Prosecutor General's Office has initiated a criminal case against former Deputy Prime Minister Abudulla Aripov, who is accused of illegally granting Uzdunrobita, an MTS subsidiary, permits to install additional repeaters, the Uzbek media services reported on Thursday.
Aripov, who was deprived of his deputy about two weeks ago, was also responsible for the country's telecommunications and information technology sector.
The media reported on Thursday that an MTS delegation is arriving in Tashkent on Thursday in an effort to resolve the dispute.
In late June, the Prosecutor General's Office of the republic initiated a criminal case against a group of Uzdunrobita officials during which several employees were arrested. On Monday, four employees of the company, who were accused of financial misappropriation, were sentenced to three years in prison.
In August the Tashkent Commercial Court upheld a lawsuit filed by the Uzbekistan Communications and Information Technology Agency annulling Uzdunrobita's license to operate. The agency claimed that Uzdunrobita's branch offices were operating illegally. The agency's claims against the company totaled about $210 million.
The Uzbek antimonopoly authorities have also filed claims against Uzdunrobita that could cost the company as much as $80 million.
On Monday, the Tashkent City Court ruled that Uzdunrobita's assets be transferred to the government.
MTS Group wrote off $1.08 million in losses, from the result of the cessation of activity of Uzbekistan's subsidiary, in Q2, 2012.
MTS has stated on numerous occasions that the claims brought against the company have no basis in the law.