Ex-minister Abyzov to stay detained till late October in $62 mln embezzlement case
MOSCOW, July 24 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Basmanny District Court has extended detention of ex-Minister for Open Government affairs Mikhail Abyzov charged with a 4-billion-ruble ($62 million) embezzlement until October 25.
Detention of alleged accomplices of Abyzov, Nikolay Stepanov and Galina Fraidenberg, was also extended for three months, according to a RAPSI reporter.
An investigator in support of his motion said about an opened Schengen visa of Abyzov, his unwillingness to cooperate with investigators and attempts to hide his assets. The investigator called the former minister a beneficial owner of offshore companies in Singapore, Virgin Islands, Cyprus and Belize with accounts in foreign banks.
Defense in turn insisted that the investigator’s motion was unmotivated. According to the lawyers, a company allegedly injured by the defendants has not filed for damages which is evidence of the case falsification. All six attorneys said that Abyzov was not involved in organizing a criminal group.
The former minister called the case against him “a global absurd”.
According to investigators, between April 2011 and November 2014, Abyzov, the owner of several offshore companies, organized and headed a criminal group. The defendant along with his accomplices allegedly embezzled 4 billion rubles from Novosibirsk Region’s Siberian Energy Company and Regional Electrical Services generation and transmission corporations and transferred the money abroad.
A criminal case was opened against Abyzov on March 25. The former minister was arrested the next day. On April 3, Moscow’s court detained Abyzov until May 25. He pleads not guilty.
Also, on March 26, the court considered investigators’ motions to detain other alleged members of the criminal group including president of the Novosibirsk Regional Sambo Federation Nikolay Stepanov, board chairman of the First Construction Fund Alexander Pelipasov, deputy CEO of Ru-Com company Maxim Rusakov and finance director of REMIS firm Galina Fraidenberg. Ilichev, who had absconded investigators, was arrested later. Their detention terms were recently extended until late July as well.