The Business Council of Mongolia has made an official statement on the sentencing of former management of SouthGobi Sands LLC.
The Business Council of Mongolia (BCM) is a Mongolian non-governmental organization representing investors in Mongolia (domestic and foreign) on business climate issues. Advocacy efforts with the government, ministries and parliamentary officials on issues vital to investors in Mongolia are of utmost importance to BCM.
BCM expressed its position regarding the sentencing of former management of SouthGobi Sands LLC, a subsidiary of BCM member SouthGobi Resources LLC. The investigation of SouthGobi Sands and its former employees has lasted nearly three years.
The statement from the Business Council of Mongolia reads:
"According to the example of other countries, and also as stipulated in the Taxation Law of Mongolia, taxation disputes should be settled by civil procedures.
"The Business Council of Mongolia regrets that, although there was a chance to settle this dispute according to civil procedures, the case settled at the primary court of the District Criminal Court and the trial resulted in a guilty verdict, fines, and sentencing of up to 5 years and 10 months in prison.
"The statement from the U.S. Embassy states that the Ambassador noted that there were interpretation problems during the trial, and because of these problems, the defendants stated during the trial that they could not understand the interpretation, nor could they express themselves clearly.
"The Business Council of Mongolia believes that anybody being accused should be honestly judged and provided with the possibility to express one