MOSCOW, June 10 (RAPSI) — The First Appeals Court of General Jurisdiction has overturned a lower court decision to detain deputy chief of the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department Alexander Krakovsky and his colleagues Alexander Biryukov and Alexander Bryantsev charged with abuse of power when investigating the case of developer Albert Khudoyan. 

The court of appeals overturned the decision of the Moscow City Court to extend the detention of the officers of May 24, 2021, lawyer Pavel Lapshov told RAPSI. According to the investigation, the defendants illegally assisted in the release of the owner of Optima Development construction company Albert Khudoyan charged with a 2-billion-ruble embezzlement (about $30 million) from detention and placing him under house arrest. 

Moscow’s Koptevsky District Court is currently hearing the Khudoyan case where he stands charged with land theft. In October 2020, the court returned the case to prosecutors because of violations committed during the pretrial probe but the Moscow City Court later invalidated the ruling and ordered the first instance court to hear the case. 

Investigators believe Khudoyan is the mastermind of an especially large fraud and former CEO of Aviasity company Sergey Konoplev is its perpetrator. The defendants stand charged with embezzling several land plots from Aviacity. Investigators have estimated damage allegedly caused at 2 billion rubles. 

Khudoyan pleads not guilty and says the case against him is hostile takeover of his development company. Optima Development has been engaged in the construction of commercial and residential projects since 2007, the company’s website reads.