Russian nationalist Potkin asks to return his case to prosecutors
MOSCOW, April 17 (RAPSI) – Russian nationalist Alexander Potkin (also known as Belov) has asked the Meschansky District Court of Moscow to return embezzlement case against him to prosecutors, his lawyer Igor Popovsky has told RAPSI.
According to Popovsky, provisions of a higher court’s ruling are not being fulfilled. The judge postponed review of this matter until April 24. The lawyer said that the indictment contains a mistake stating that Potkin tried to legalize stolen land plots despite him being charged with money laundering.
Potkin was put under house arrest until June 11.
In August 2016, the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow sentenced Potkin to 7.5 years in prison and fined him 600,000 rubles (about $10,500 at the current exchange rate). Moreover, the court granted a 4.9 billion-ruble lawsuit ($85 million) filed by the injured party against Potkin.
In April 2017, the Moscow City Court reduced his prison term to 3.5 years, cancelled part of the sentence related to embezzlement charges and returned that part of the criminal case to prosecutors. The Presidium upheld the April decision of the Moscow City Court and ruled to reconsider parts of the sentence related to other charges. In January 2018, the Presidium of the Moscow City Court ruled to reconsider the case.
This March, the Moscow City Court reviewed an appeal filed by Potkin against his sentence for extremism and gave him 3.5 years in prison.
According to the original indictment, Mukhtar Ablyazov, ex-chairman of the Kazakh BTA Bank, who allegedly wanted to destabilize the constitutional order in Kazakhstan, asked Potkin to help him with organizing an extremist group.
Potkin allegedly agreed and used funds embezzled from BTA Bank to spread the nationalist ideology in Kazakhstan. Potkin has pleaded not guilty.
Potkin was arrested on October 15, 2014 at the Hotel Intourist Kolomenskoe in Moscow on charges related to the embezzlement of $5 billion from BTA Bank. At the time of the arrest, Potkin allegedly had documents on him that effectively tied him to the embezzlement. In December 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) awarded €2,500 in compensation to Potkin for withdrawal of his complaint over long stay in detention from the court.