Ex-minister Abyzov loses appeal against extended detention in embezzlement case
MOSCOW, August 14 (RAPSI) – Ex-Minister for Open Government affairs Mikhail Abyzov, who stands charged with a 4-billion-ruble ($62 million) embezzlement, on Wednesday lost an appeal against extension of his detention, RAPSI reports from the Moscow City Court.
The former official will stay detained until October 25.
Detention of Abyzov and other defendants Nikolay Stepanov and Galina Fraidenberg, was extended for three months in July. However, defense 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 pleads not guilty and calls his case “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 placed him in detention. Also, on March 26, the court granted 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.