Mongolian courts again put ex-finance minister into custody

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-17 18:01:27|Editor: xuxin
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ULAN BATOR, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Former Mongolian finance minister Sangajav Bayartsogt, who is being investigated for alleged corruption, has again been taken into custody, local media reported on Thursday.

Three district courts in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator on Wednesday jointly made the decision to put Bayartsogt into custody for a month at the prosecutor's request.

Bayartsogt was released on bail in June after he had been held in investigative custody for almost two months.

In 2009, Bayartsogt signed an agreement on behalf of the Mongolian government with Canada's Ivanhoe Mines on developing the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, granting a 66-percent controlling stake to the company, which later changed its name to Turquoise Hill Resources and is now majority owned by Australian-British mining giant Rio Tinto.

The Independent Agency Against Corruption, Mongolia's top anti-corruption body, accused Bayartsogt of using his influence and position to provide foreign parties to the agreement an advantage in negotiations.

The Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, located in the South Gobi Desert of Mongolia, is expected to produce an average of 430,000 tons of copper and 425,000 ounces (about 12,050 kg) of gold annually for 20 years.