Germans Drop Charges in Russian Telecom Minister Case

Prosecutor in the German city of Frankfurt am Main have withdrawn charges against the defendants in a case concerning a $150 million theft in which Russia’s former communications minister Leonid Reiman was suspected of involvement, lawyer Morten Samuelsson told Denmark’s Ritzau news agency on Friday.

The prosecutors office had accused Danish lawyer Jeffrey Galmond and four former employees of Commerzbank AG of money laundering for Reiman in December 2011.

The prosecutors, who began their investigation in 2005, suspected Galmond and the bank’s workers helped Reiman in selling telecommunications assets he allegedly controlled in offshore companies, while concealing who the true owner was, the Wall Street Journal reported last December.

The German bank held the telecom assets in trust for Galmond from 1996 to 2001, the paper also said. The Danish lawyer was regarded by the prosecutors as Reiman’s principal assistant since the assets were made over to Galmond formally, but in fact owned by Reiman.

The defendants declined to comment on the court’s decision. Reiman expressed his satisfaction with the decision.

Reiman, who served as Communications Minister between 1999 and 2008, was also head of the presidential council on the development of media society in Russia.


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