We are shocked and outraged that the Rostov regional procurator has decided to issue charges against Richard Bliss based on the recommendation of the FSB, a successor to the organization known as the KGB. We understand that the regional procurator may offer a provision for a $5 million bail to be posted. Company officials will meet with the Russian authorities in Rostov to clarify any terms of the bail, including any restrictions on Mr. Bliss' travel and any required future appearances. Qualcomm is working to arrange a transfer of the funds. Because Russian officials delayed their decision until close of business in Russia on Friday and we do not have the details of the bail, the timing of the actual transfer is not currently known.
To our knowledge, Mr. Bliss was carrying out his work assignment in a very professional manner and did not knowingly violate any Russian laws. We will support him and his family and will pursue every available avenue to secure his release and exoneration. Mr. Bliss' job was to prepare for the installation of a modern wireless communications system, in accordance with a contract with our customer, Electrosviaz of Rostov Region for the benefit of the people of the Rostov-on-Don...nothing more and nothing less.
Many companies doing or planning to do business in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have been in close contact with us and they have shared their grave concern with this situation. Clearly, the international business community, whose products and technologies benefit the Russian people, are watching this situation unfold and thinking twice about sending their people into such an uncertain environment.
We are anxious to see the safe and swift return of Richard Bliss to the United States, to his family and to his job at Qualcomm, and we look forward to the repudiation of these meritless charges. At this time, Qualcomm continues to fulfill its contractual commitments in Russia.
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December 05, 1997December 05, 1997