MOSCOW, Novemebr 27 (RAPSI) – AFK Sistema has filed an application with the Moscow Commercial Court seeking to lift seizure of oil producer Bashneft’s shares, a source told RAPSI on Thursday.

On September 25, the court seized 122,9 million regular and 6,1 priority Bashneft bonds, owned by Sistema and its subsidiary Sistema-Invest. The shares were seized in order to prevent Sistema from re-selling them.

The court also prohibited any further changes to the Bashneft shareholder registry.

Bashneft was privatized in 2009. It was controlled by the government of Russia’s Bashkortostan region until 2003, when a major stake was sold to companies affiliated with Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov.

In 2009, Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate AFK Sistema gained control of the company.  Investigators opened a criminal case last April linked to deals with Bashneft shares in 2002 to 2009.

Rakhimov and billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov were implicated in the sale of Bashneft stock in 2009. Rakhimov was charged in absentia with embezzlement and money laundering, put on the international wanted list.

Yevtushenkov, the board chairman and largest beneficiary of AFK Sistema, stands charged with money laundering.

AFK Sistema directly owned almost 72% of voting shares of Bashneft, which produces about 350,000 barrels of oil a day, and an overall stake of 86.7%, including 12.6% via Sistema-Invest.