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Court rules to keep Bashneft shares in custody in embezzlement probe

August 27, 2014, 17:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Moscow City Court rejected an appeal filed by Bashneft’s core shareholder, AFK Sistema holding company, which insisted that the arrest of the shares was illegitimate
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© ITAR-TASS/Nikolai Marochkin

MOSCOW, August 27. /ITAR-TASS/. A Moscow court ruled on Wednesday to uphold an earlier decision on arresting the shares of mid-sized Russian oil firm Bashneft as a protective measure to secure the claim in a probe of the embezzlement of the company’s funds.

The Moscow City Court thus rejected an appeal filed by Bashneft’s core shareholder, AFK Sistema holding company, which insisted that the arrest of the shares was illegitimate.

AFK Sistema controls 78.8% of the stock of Bashneft, which is located in the Republic of Bashkortostan in the Urals.

The republican Property Ministry filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to claim 209 billion rubles ($5.8 billion) in compensation in a criminal probe launched against Bashneft ex-head Ural Rakhimov, the son of former Bashkortostan leader Murtaza Rakhimov, who is accused of illegitimately appropriating and legalizing the funds of Bashneft during its privatization.

The Moscow City Court judge who read out the ruling said that a preliminary investigation of the Bashneft embezzlement case would be extended until October 28.

Bashneft has drawn enhanced attention after it won a tender in 2010 to develop the gigantic Trebs and Titov oilfield in the Russian Arctic.

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