MOSCOW, December 24 – RAPSI. The Moscow City Court has upheld the arrest of former Federal Security Service's (FSB) officer and Boris Berezovsky's trustee Andrey Ponkin, who has been detained on suspicion of major fraud, the court spokesperson told the Russian Legal Information Agency on Monday.
Ponkin’s attorney Sergei Sokolov requested to cancel the arrest, but an application was dismissed.
"Police officers have materials confirming that Ponkin previously worked as Boris Berezovsky's trustee and fulfilled a number of his requests," the Moscow Interior Ministry's press center told RIA Novosti earlier. "The officers have certificates in the name of Ponkin signed by Berezovsky."
Meanwhile, Sokolov has denied that Ponkin has any such connection with Berezovsky.
Ponkin and Alasgarov Telman Gadzhi Ogly, the deputy head of the Public Fund for Assistance to Interior Ministry Veterans, are suspected of committing fraud connected with a $1.5 million extortion.
According to the ministry, they offered to help close a securities theft case to the former chairman of the board of a Stavropol bank and to receive a positive assessment from the Deposit Insurance Agency.
"The suspects said they would transfer the funds to the agency's officials, to the Finance Ministry, and to the employees of the Interior Ministry's Stavropol Regional Main Department," the ministry said.
The suspects were detained at a Moscow restaurant accepting 1.5 million rubles ($49,4 million).
The case has been initiated under the article on fraud. They face up to 10 years in prison.
Berezovsky, who is wanted by the authorities on charges of fraud and deception, has been hiding in the UK since 2000. In 2003, a British court refused to extradite the businessman to Russia.