(Alliance News) - Petropavlovsk PLC on Thursday said Russian police are investigating the company's interim chief executive officer, Maksim Meshcheryakov, over an incident of forced entry into the company's Moscow office.
Shares in the FTSE 250-listed company were down 3.6% at 27.85 pence each in London.
The Russian gold miner said the Investigative Committee of Russia for the City of Moscow has initiated an investigation into events involving Meshcheryakov. The probe relates to August 26 and 27, when Meshcheryakov was denied access to the company's office in Moscow and which he then entered in the presence of Moscow police, who he called to attend.
The company said it understands that the investigation into Meshcheryakov relates to a crime under a criminal code called 'arbitrariness'. According to legal advice received by the company, the crime of arbitrariness has a very broad definition, and may include actions that are commissioned to protect lawful rights or interests.
In August, Petropavlovsk said Meshcheryakov had encountered a lack of co-operation from some employees and ex-employees in certain of the Russian subsidiaries. That lack of co-operation included preventing Meshcheryakov obtaining access to the company's office in Moscow while he was attempting, with the full support of the Petropavlovsk board, to safeguard the company's assets and information.
The company intends to "fully cooperate" with the investigation.
Meshcheryakov joined as interim head of Petropavlovsk after shareholders including Everest Alliance and JSC Uzhuralzoloto group of companies orchestrated removal of seven Petropavlovsk directors, including chief executive and co-founder Pavel Maslovskiy. The new board is investigating the company's investment and strategic decisions over the past three years.
By Tapan Panchal; email@example.com
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