MOSCOW, February 5 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow's Khamovniki court on Tuesday extended the arrest of Oboronservis case suspect Maxim Zakutailo, former warehouse director of the Moscow Air Force and Air Defense District, to April 10.
The court thus met the investigator’s petition to give him two additional months to complete the difficult probe. According to the investigator, the suspect refused to testify and could escape.
"I support the investigator’s petition; it is legitimate and justified, and no other measure of restraint can ensure his appearance at the investigator's office," the prosecutor underlined.
Zakutailo, who attended the Tuesday hearing, objected to these arguments. "I have two underage children to support; there is no information that I wanted to flee," he protested.
His lawyer called the investigator's arguments "formal," and asked the court to take into consideration the fact that his client had been accused of economic crimes and that these offenses do not necessary envision custody during the probe.
Earlier, the main military investigation department /GVSU/ of the Investigative Committee /SK/ opened at least ten criminal cases over fraud in the sale of real estate facilities that belonged to the Oboronservis company subordinate to the Defense Ministry.
They were pooled in one case and are being investigated under the articles on fraud and exceeding and abusing authority.
Defense Ministry officials 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.
The damage within the case is estimated at over four billion roubles.
Investigators do not rule out more suspects in the case and an increase in the sum of damage.
Maxim Zakutailo and head of the Defense Ministry’s' economic department Nikolai Ryabykh are under arrest on charges of fraud. Former director of the Defense Ministry’s property department Yevgenia Vasilyeva is under house arrest, and former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was questioned as a witness. Zakutailo's wife - former director of the Expert legal support center Yekaterina Smetanova - is on recognizance.