MOSCOW, May 23 (RAPSI, Oleg Sivozhelezov) – Moscow’s Basmanny District Court has issued an arrest warrant in absentia for Nikolay Krivash, founder of Akashevskaya poultry factory, who stands charged with giving a bribe to Russia’s Mari El Republic Leonid Markelov, RAPSI learnt in the court.

According to investigators, Krivash, who was put on the international wanted list on May 12, absconds during the investigation or trial.

Lawyers of Krivash in turn said that he is undergoing medical treatment in Israel where he had left before initiation of criminal proceedings against him. Defense team qualified charges against Krivash as unproved.

Investigators believe that Markelov has received a 235-million-ruble bribe ($4.2 million at the current exchange rate) from Krivash for patronage and assistance in the property payment of funds provided by state support for development of the agricultural complex. Alleged Markelov’s accomplice, head manager of Telecompany 12 Region, Natalia Kozhanova, is charged with mediation in bribery.

Markelov and Kozhanova have been put in jail until June 12. Markelov pleaded not guilty to receiving the bribe.

On April 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted voluntary resignation of Markelov, who was governing the region for 16 years.