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Investigators ask court to arrest two suspects in "Oboronservis" case

November 01, 2012, 18:29 UTC+3

Five criminal cases were opened over fraud in selling military property

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MOSCOW, November 1 (Itar-Tass) — The investigators have asked Moscow's Khamovniki court to sanction the arrest of two suspects in the Oboronservis case over military property fraud.

"The investigators have filed the petition asking the court to arrest Smetanova and Zakutailo; the court will review the petition shortly," the Court's spokeswoman Darya Lyakh told Itar-Tass.

Smetanova is head of the "Expert" legal support center, a commercial organization. She is suspected of abetting the schemes by former director of the Defense Ministry’s property department Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, who is another suspect in the case.

Smetanova's group's task was to sell the alienated property of the Defense Ministry. She cooperated with Oboronservis in this issue. Zakutailo is Smetanova's husband.

The suspects have been brought to the court. The investigator's petition to arrest them will be reviewed by judge Marina Syrova, who came in the limelight as she considered the church prank case against three Pussy Riot activists.

Earlier, the Investigative Committee's main military investigation department opened five criminal cases over fraud in selling real estate, land plots and company shares belonging to Oboronservis which is subordinate to the Defense Ministry. The cases were opened under the penal code articles on fraud, and exceeding and abusing authority.

The investigators said Defense Ministry officials had selected the most liquid and prestigious assets belonging to the Ministry, including Moscow-based property. As a rule, tremendous budget funds were injected into the property before it was sold at understated prices to commercial bodies affiliated with Oboronservis, the SK reported earlier.

Also, many facilities were purchased with the money stolen from Oboronservis.

According to preliminary estimates, the damage from the sale of eight real estate facilities exceeded three billion roubles.

The SK searched the officers of the directors of Voyentorg, Agroprom, and Krasnaya Zvezda, affiliated with Oboronservis, and three their daughter companies.

Investigators also searched Yevgeniya Vasilyeva's apartment seizing more than three million roubles, antiques, several dozen paintings, and much jewelry.

Searches were conducted in six apartments in Moscow and St Petersburg, and the SK retrieved documents from the Defense Ministry’s property department and questioned several Defense Ministry officials.

The Russian president ordered Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to fully cooperate with the investigators in the Oboronservis case.

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