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MOSCOW, December 6 (Itar-Tass) — The Khamovnichesky court of Moscow on Thursday will consider the inevstigator's requests to extend the custody term for ex-head of the commercial company Expert Legal Support Centre Yekaterina Smetanova and formed director general of an Air Force warehouse of the Moscow District Maxim Zakutailo who are accused of fraud in the Oboronservis case, the court's press secretary Darya Lyakh told Itar-Tass.
“The court received the investigator’s request to extend the custody term for Yekaterina Smetanova and Maxim Zakutailo until February 10,” she said.
However, Zakutailo’s lawyer Oleg Bessonov told Itar-Tass that his client pleads not guilty.
“Zakutailo does not admit his guilt, he has made all the decisions based on directives,” Bessonov said.
The defence lawyer also said that no plea bargain is currently considered. “We are currently studying all the materials and prepare for an interrogation,” the lawyer stated. “I also know nothing about whether Smetanova has concluded or plans to conclude an immunity agreement,” he said.
On November 1, the Khamovnichesky 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 Defence 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 Defence 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 Defence 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 information, the damage from the sale of only eight real estate items exceeds three billion roubles.