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MOSCOW, November 9 (Itar-Tass) — Former first deputy chairman of the Moscow region prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko, a suspect in the illegal gambling cover-up case, has been put on the Interpol wanted list, law-enforcement bodies said on Wednesday.
There has been no official confirmation of the report so far.
The press service of the Investigation Committee (SK) told Itar-Tass that on Tuesday, SK chief Alexander Bastrykin told the prosecutor general, Yuri Chaika, that his department had not been answering the inquiries regarding placing Ignatenko on the wanted list.
"Deputy SK chairman Vasily Piskaryov earlier repeatedly asked deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin but no answer has been given," an SK official said.
On June 28, Alexander Ignatenko was charged in absentia with fraud. The investigator said he had been taking bribes in cash or other property worth 47 million roubles in the period from July 2009 through February 2011 in person or through an intermediary for covering up illegal gambling business.
He is also accused of fraud against suspected gambling business mastermind Ivan Nazarov, whom he had sold a land plot in the Krasnogorsk district of the Moscow region for two million roubles, although the prosecutor had no ownership rights to that property.
On July 13, Moscow's Basmanny court sanctioned in absentia Ignatenko's arrest, and on August 1, the Moscow City Court turned down the petition by the Prosecutor General’s Office and Igantenko's lawyers who had asked to cancel the ruling.
Investigator put Ignatenko on the international wanted list back on July 1. Meanwhile, this procedure requires a confirmation from the Prosecutor General’s Office, stating that in case the person in question is arrested abroad, the prosecutors will be seeking his extradition.
Earlier, the Prosecutor General's Office explained that the investigator could not put a person on the Interpol wanted list, because one of the "crucial conditions is a detective's resolution passed at the investigator’s instruction."
The prosecutors stated they did not doubt the courts' rulings. "As regards the proof of Ignatenko's guilt and the justifiability of his arrest, the prosecutors, while abiding by their opinion, assume that the courts’ decisions on arrest "has come into effect and has to be executed."
However, the procedure of putting on the Interpol wanted list has been suspended, because the "insufficiency of documents submitted to Interpol Russia bureau can "negatively affect" the issue of the suspect's extradition to Russia.
Earlier this year, the Federal Security Service reported that an illegal gambling ring had been exposed in the Moscow region, and named first deputy regional prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko among the suspects. They include the regional prosecutor, his colleagues and police officials. The FSB said it had encountered active resistance already at the initial stage of the probe, on the part of supervisory bodies and police.
On January 1, 2007, the federal law on gambling came into effect in Russia. Under the document, gambling is only allowed in four specialized zones: the Kaliningrad region, the Altai and Primorye Territories and between Rostov region and the Krasnodar Territory. Outside of these areas, gambling is illegal.
The article under which the criminal case was opened envisions a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison with additional fine up to one million roubles or possible restriction of freedom for up to two years.