Westminster Magistrates’ Court withdraws arrest warrant for Benedikt Sobotka, Chief Executive Officer of Eurasian Resources Group, at request of SFO
Westminster Magistrates’ Court (London, UK) has withdrawn the arrest warrant for Mr Benedikt Sobotka, Chief Executive Officer of Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG”), at the request of the Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) and one month after it was issued.
On 13 July 2018, the SFO had announced that an arrest warrant was issued over Mr Sobotka’s failure to appear for questioning as a witness into the organisation’s investigation into Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (“ENRC”). This was in spite of Mr Sobotka being ready to assist the SFO’s investigation into ENRC. ERG previously communicated its position as follows:
The SFO originally refused to disclose to Mr Sobotka a copy of the warrant itself or the basis on which the warrant was obtained. Following Mr Sobotka’s application to court, the SFO wrote to the court asking for the warrant to be withdrawn. The court granted the withdrawal and ordered the disclosure of the SFO’s original application and the warrant.
Kevin Roberts, Partner, Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP, representing Mr Sobotka, said: “While we are pleased the Court has withdrawn the arrest warrant against Mr Sobotka, the behaviour of the SFO has been disappointing. There was clearly no reasonable basis for a warrant in the first place which seemed more designed to intimidate the CEO of a multinational company rather than to progress matters and address the key issues. This was underlined by its withdrawal at the SFO’s own request only a month after its issuance.”