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TNK-BP boss does a no-show for questioning by prosecutors



TNK-BP CEO a no-show for questioning by prosecutors

Mon Jun 9, 2008 3:58am EDT

MOSCOW, June 9 (Reuters) – The head of BP’s (BP.L: QuoteProfileResearch) troubled Russian venture TNK-BP TNBPI.RTS did not appear on Monday at a prosecutors’ office for questioning over his company’s compliance with labour regulations.

Analysts say the joint venture is being subjected to a legal onslaught, that also includes investigations into alleged tax evasion and industrial espionage, in a Kremlin-approved campaign to force the company to cede control to a state-owned firm.

Prosecutors had issued TNK-BP CEO Robert Dudley with a summons to appear for questioning over the labour issue.

A Reuters reporter outside the prosecutors’ office said two English-speaking men brought in boxes with files but Dudley himself did not appear.

“He is not going to be there in person. His representative will be there,” a source close to TNK-BP told Reuters.

The joint venture has faced months of pressure including the arrest of an employee on spying charges and searches of its offices by state security agents.

The Russian co-owners have demanded Dudley, a former BP executive, resign. He has been issued with a separate summons to talk to investigators in a tax evasion probe.

BP owns half of the shares in TNK-BP and the rest are held by a group of Russian billionaires. The joint venture pumps a quarter of BP’s worldwide output and made net profits of $5.3 billion last year. (Reporting by Melissa Akin and Tanya Mosolova; Writing by Christian Lowe; editing by James Jukwey)



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