MOSCOW, January 30 (RAPSI, Oleg Sivozhelezov) – The Moscow City Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling to extend the house arrest of ex-Russian Economy Minister Alexey Ulyukayev, who stands charged with extorting a $2 million bribe, until April 15, RAPSI reported from the courtroom on Monday.

Investigation into Ulyukayev has been extended until May 15. The Basmanny District Court earlier ordered the seizure of the former ministry’s property valued at over 564 million rubles ($9.3 million).

Ulyukayev was arrested while receiving a bribe. He allegedly demanded Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft’s representative to pay him $2 million for lawfully providing a positive review and evaluation of a deal that allowed Rosneft to acquire government’s share in mid-sized producer Bashneft. According to acting spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee Svetlana Petrenko, the former minister threatened to create obtrusions for Rosneft with use of his position.

Ulyukayev has pleaded not guilty.

On November 15, the ex-minister was put under house arrest.

Later in the evening, President Vladimir Putin relieved Ulyukayev of his post because of loss of trust.