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Suspect in military property fraud case appeals her arrest

November 06, 2012, 19:12 UTC+3

Many facilities were bought with the money stolen from Oboronservis

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MOSCOW, November 6 (Itar-Tass) — The former head of the "Expert" legal support centre Yekaterina Smetanova, a suspect in the criminal case over military property fraud at Oboronservis' affiliates, has appealed her arrest, press secretary of Moscow's Khamovniki court Darya Lyakh told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"Today, the court received an appeal against the resolution by judge Marina Syrova to select custody as the measure of restraint for Smetanova," Lyakh said.

Smetanova's lawyer asked the court to overturn the resolution and grant bail to his client.

No appeal has come from Maxim Zakutailo, Smetanova's husband, who is a second suspect in the case.

The Khamovniki court sanctioned the arrest of Smetanova and Zakutailo on November 1. They are to remain in custody until December 10.

In passing the decision, the court took into account the fact that the crimes of which Smetanova was accused did not belong to the area of entrepreneurship.

The court agreed with the investigator’s opinion that she could continue her criminal activity, threaten witnesses or obstruct the investigation.

According to a medical certificate issued at remand prison # 1, the condition of her health is satisfactory for remaining in prison.

Earlier, the main military investigation department opened five criminal cases over fraud in the sales of real estate, land plots and shares belonging to the Oboronservis company which is subordinate to the Defense Ministry. The cases were opened under the penal code articles on fraud and exceeding and abusing office powers.

According to the investigators, Defense Ministry officials selected the most liquid and prestigious facilities, land plots and shares from the Oboronservis inventory. Then, tremendous budget funds were invested into these assets and the property was sold at very understated prices to the commercial bodies affiliated with Oboronservis.

Many facilities were bought with the money stolen from Oboronservis.

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

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