Court hearing on Spacecom CEO nears

  • 2006-02-01
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - The Harju County Court ruled on Jan. 27 to hold a closed hearing in the case against transit businessman Oleg Ossinovsky, CEO of Spacecom, in order to protect state secrets.

However, the case against Ossinovsky, who is accused of violating free competition regulations, did not begin since the defendant did not receive a Russian-language summary of the charges three days prior to the hearing, as pursuant to Estonian law.

The court adjourned the hearing until Feb. 9.

Ossinovsky is being charged on the basis of a penal code article involving a prohibition on agreements that inhibit free competition. Spacecom, part of the Russian Severstaltrans group, will also be tried as a legal entity.

Ossinovsky has denied any wrongdoing and said the case was politically motivated.

Spacecom has been in a bitter conflict with Baltic Rail Service, which runs Estonian Railway, over payments and fees on using infrastructure. The company, which was chartered with Russian capital, announced last week that last year's sales reached 537.2 million kroons (34.3 million euros), a growth of 60 percent year-on-year.

Some 147.56 million kroons in sales were generated by Spacecom's operations as a carrier on the infrastructure, while lease of fuel tank cars accounted for the biggest part, or 263.9 million kroons, spokespeople for the company said.

Sales were most strongly supported by a growth in the firm's locomotive and tank car fleet, though forwarding volumes also increased significantly, CFO Anatoly Burnosov said.

In 2005, the company carried a total of 4.75 million tons of oil products, including 431,000 tons in December.

The majority stake in Spacecom belongs to owners of the Russian transport company Severstaltrans, and the remaining shares through different companies to a number of Estonian private individuals. Ossinovsky's company, Skinest Investeerin-gute AS, owns 10 percent of the shares.