Russian charged in bribery case slams US authorities for loosing key witness
MOSCOW, March 16 (RAPSI, Vladimir Yaduta) – Russian national Vadim Mikerin implicated in a criminal case over an uranium supply contract filed a motion to dismiss the indictment accusing US authorities of an unjustified delay which resulted in loosing key witness, according to court records obtained by RAPSI on Monday.
Mikerin, the former general director of TENAM USA, which is indirectly under control of Rosatom, the Russian state-owned nuclear corporation, was charged with conspiracy to commit extortion.
Three US nationals were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Charges were brought in connection with an alleged scheme to obtain contracts that involved shipping uranium from disassembled nuclear Russian warheads to power plants in the US. Mikerin collected about $1.7 million in bribes from the scheme, according to prosecutors.
The inquiry into the alleged scheme began in 2009 and expanded for five years, with a paid informant as a member of the investigative team.
Mikerin was arrested on October 29, 2014, on a criminal complaint alleging money laundering and an elaborate extortion scheme.
By that time one of his alleged co-conspirators and key defense witness, Rod Fisk, died from cancer. Moreover, Fisk’s computer with all the information which Mikerin claimed to be critical evidence was destroyed.
“Despite having the opportunity, and being in the midst of an investigation then in its third year, the Government did not seize, subpoena or image Mr. Fisk’s computer, which contained relevant information concerning the alleged scheme and Mr. Fisk’s involvement,” reads a motion filed by Mikerin with the US District Court for the District of Maryland.
He further complains of his inability to defend himself and wants the indictment to be dismissed.
Fleshing out his claims, Mikerin asserted: “the loss of Mr. Fisk’s testimony and critical evidence from Mr. Fisk’s computer is blatantly prejudicial to Mr. Mikerin and the Government is unable to establish valid reasons for this delay”.
RIA Novosti reported earlier citing a Rosatom spokesman that the case against Mikerin might be politically motivated.