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Court orders Altyn jewellery retailer CEOs to stay in custody

November 14, 2011, 22:57 UTC+3

Previous court meetings were held behind closed doors, as the materials concerning Babosyuk's arrest were marked “classified”

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MOSCOW, November 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The Moscow City Court on Monday, November 14, ruled to leave three persons incriminated in the Altyn jewellery smuggling case in custody until April 21, 2012.

A lawyer of one of the defendants, Alexander Gofshtein, said, “The court partly upheld our appeal today by announcing a week-long break in the hearings to allow the defence to study the 18-volume case materials.”

Hearings at the Moscow City Court will resume on November 21. The lawyer said the defence planned to file one more appeal next week and may request a trial by jury.

He said the defendants “are tired by the two-year detention” that, in his opinion, has gone beyond all reasonable limits.

The defendants are the Altyn jewellery retail network's Supervisory Council, Antonina Babosyuk and her husband Vladimir Fenkov, Altyn Director-General Valentina Shadrina, and Tyan-Shan firm Director-General Vladimir Sukhoveyev, as well as Sergei Titenkov. All of them have been charged with creating a criminal ring and running it using their official positions, as well as of contraband carried out by an organised group.

Shadrina and Babosyuk have been released on bail.

Previous court meetings were held behind closed doors, as the materials concerning Babosyuk's arrest were marked “classified”.

The Investigation Committee of the Federal Security Service (FSB) had requested Babosyuk's arrest.

Moscow's Lefortovo District Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Fenkov, Babosyuk's husband, born in 1963, suspected of a crime punishable under Article 188 (4) of the Russian Criminal Code /smuggling/ should be placed into custody.

Fenkov was the executive director of the factory Altyn in St. Petersburg. He is a citizen of Russia and of Kyrgyzstan.

The judge refused to release Fenkov on bail against his written pledge not to leave the city. She said the arrest warrant could be appealed within ten days in the Moscow City Court.

Fenkov said he understood the court ruling but he would not appeal it.

The Lefortovo District Court had also sanctioned arrest of Altyn Director-General Valentina Shadrina, who had been charged with involvement in smuggling of large batches of gold jewellery.

The court ruled to issue an arrest warrant for Shadrina, born in 1959, suspected of committing a crime (involvement in smuggling, Article 188 (4) of the Russian Criminal Code).

The Russian Federal Security Service suspects a number of employees of the Altyn Jewellery Holding, one of Russia's major gold retailers, of gold smuggling.

Investigation operations were conducted in the company's shops and offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Omsk in early October 2009.

On October 5, 2009, the FSB Investigation Department opened a criminal case against some of the employees of the jewellery holding company Altyn suspected of smuggling punishable under Article 188 (4) of the Russian Criminal Code, an FSB spokesman told Itar-Tass.

The Lefortovo District Court also sanctioned the arrest of Tyan-Shan company Director-General Vladimir Sukhoveyev for involvement in smuggling.

Kazakhstan's financial police also began a probe into the activities of the Altyn jewellery retail network.

The Altyn network was founded in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, in 1990. The company now controls a network of jewellery shops in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Omsk. It has shops in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates. The company also has jewellery factories in Bishkek and St. Petersburg.


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