MOSCOW, November 6 – RAPSI. The defense of Yekaterina Smetanova, former head of the Expert Legal Support Center and charged with large-scale fraud as part of the Oboronservis case, has disputed the court ruling on her arrest, Darya Lyakh, a press-secretary of the Khamovnichesky District Court, told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/ on Tuesday.

The Moscow Khamovnichesky District Court has also sanctioned the arrest of her husband Maxim Zakutaylo, former director general of the Moscow District air force warehouse.

The rulings read that Smetanova and Zakutaylo should be kept in custody until December 10.

The law enforcement officer said at the Khamovnichesky District Court hearing that investigators have reason to suspect that Smetanova may try to flee the country in a Defense Ministry plane.

The officer said that in a previous incident of a similar nature, Smetanova claimed to be an employee of the Defense Ministry property relations department, and left for Paris from Chkalovsky airport using a ministry plane, together with the former head of the property relations department Yevgenia Vasilyeva.

The investigator also gave a further reason for keeping Smetanova in custody: previously, employees of the Expert Legal Support Center assisted her in destroying evidence in the Oboronservis case.

The case materials state that Smetanova is suspected of committing five crimes as part of the case initiated against Oboronservis on selling property at reduced prices.
It became known in October that five criminal cases had been initiated in connection with fraud in sales of property, land plots and shares, which used to belong to Oboronservis. The losses exceeded 3 billion rubles ($95.7 million).

Investigators searched the Defense Ministry’s department of property relations and offices of affiliated bodies, took a number of documents and questioned employees. In addition, three million rubles ($95,700), jewelry and antiques were confiscated from Yevgenia Vasilyeva.

Oboronservis comprises service companies involved in armaments and military vehicle repair and maintenance, construction materials and food production, power facilities operation, cartography and printing goods production, as well as housing services for military towns.