MOSCOW, September 3 (RAPSI) — The Moscow City Court upheld the convictions of three men who had been found guilty of of kidnapping famous pop singer Avraam Russo in 2004, the press service of the court told RAPSI.

The court dismissed the appeal moves against the judgment of the Moscow Presnensky District Court of May 17, 2021, sentencing Vladimir Gusakov, Elyar Damirov and Zaur Mardanov, the press service said in its statement.

The district court found Elyar Damirov and Vladimir Gusakov guilty of the singer’s kidnapping and sentenced them to 5 and 6 years in prison respectively but released from punishment due to the expiry of the criminal prosecution’s limitations period.

The Investigative Committee reported the completion of the investigation into a nephew of Russian businessman Telman Ismailov and ex-manager of Moscow's famous Prague Restaurant Zaur Mardanov and ex-driver of the tycoon Vladimir Gusakov in December 2019. Investigation into other alleged accomplices was separated.

According to the court materials, in 2004 Mardanov along with five accomplices kidnapped Russo and brought him to Ismailov’s cottage in Moscow Region to conduct “work negotiations.” Slight injuries were inflicted on the singer’s health.

Ismailov denied involvement in the crime. Currently, he is on the international wanted list. In March 2017, Ismailov was declared bankrupt. In December 2017, he was charged in absentia with murder and illegal arms trafficking. The businessman could face life imprisonment if convicted. According to investigators, Ismailov organized the murder of businessman Vladimir Savkin and founder of Lublino-Motors auto service centre Yury Brylev in May 2016.