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Investigator asks to extend arrest of two Oboronservis case suspects

December 04, 2012, 17:36 UTC+3
The court would hold a hearing to decide on the issue on December 6
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MOSCOW, December 4 (Itar-Tass) — Investigators have asked to extend custody for former director of the "Expert" legal support center Yekaterina Smetanova and former director general of a warehouse of the Moscow military district Maxim Zakutailo, accused of fraud in the Oboronservis case, spokeswoman for Moscow's Khamovniki court Darya Lyakh told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"The investigator filed a petition asking the court to extend custody as the measure of restraint for Yekaterina Smetanova and Maxim Zakutailo," Lyakh said.

Zakutailo's lawyer Oleg Bessonov told Tass the court would hold a hearing to decide on the issue on December 6...

He also noted that the acts of which his client was accused were not criminally punishable.

"Zakutailo says he's innocent; he followed directives when making all his decision," Bessonov said.

No plea bargain is under consideration now. "We're examining all the materials and getting ready for questioning. I know nothing about Smetanova's concluding or planning to conclude a plea bargain agreement," the lawyer said.

On November 1, the Khamovniki court selected custody as the measure of restraint against Smetanova and her husband Maxim Zakutailo until December 10.

On November 23, former director of the Defense Ministry's property department Yevgenia Vasilyeva was placed under house arrest on charges of grand fraud.

The Investigative Committee's main military investigation department /GVSU/ opened five criminal cases over sale of property, land and shares belonging to the Roboronservis company, which is subordinate to the Defense Ministry.

Earlier reports said the damage caused by these crimes, including the Rosoboronservis case, reached 6.7 billion roubles.

The damage caused within the Oboronservis case alone exceeds 4 billion roubles, GVSU head Col-Gen Alexander Sorochkin said.

Compared with 2011, the sum of damage ascertained by the investigators increased by 60 percent. Previously, it was estimated at 1.3 billion roubles.

"The Oboronservis case has pooled seven criminal cases over 14 real estate facilities that belong to the so-called non-core assets and were sold ineffectively, by which, as we believe, crimes were committed," Sorochkin said.

The price of property seized during the searches in the Oboronservis and Slavyanka cases makes up at least one billion roubles. "The investigators seized a considerable sum: more than 700,000 million roubles in Russian roubles and foreign currency, as well as valuables whose price is now being estimated. The sum of the confiscated items may amount to over one billion roubles.

In each of the criminal cases under investigation, three persons have been arrested. Andrei Lugansky, director of the Security and Communications private company, was arrested within the Slavyanka case. A court sanctioned his arrest.

Earlier, the post of director of Security and Communications was occupied by Yelkin, another suspect in the case.

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.


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