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Ex-head of Rusnano corporation released from house arrest — lawyers

May 11, 8:56 UTC+3

Former financial director of the corporation has been also released from a detention facility, according to the lawyers

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Leonid Melamed

Leonid Melamed

© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, May 11. /TASS/. Former head of Russia’s nanotechnologies state corporation Rusnano Leonid Melamed, accused of embezzling more than 220 million rubles ($3.8mln at current exchange rate), has been released from house arrest, lawyers said on Thursday.

Former financial director of the corporation Svyatoslav Ponurov has been also freed from a detention facility, the lawyers confirmed.

"We confirm that late on May 10 Melamed was released from house arrest and Ponurov was freed from detention," lawyer for Melamed Ruslan Kozhura and lawyer Alexander Asnis, who represents the interests of Rusnano, said.

"We know that the Prosecutor-General’s Office has not issued an indictment and has not submitted the case to the court, and the limit for holding the defendants under house arrest and in custody has expired," they said.

In July 2015, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over embezzlement of 220 million rubles in Rusnano against the corporation’s former leadership - Melamed, his deputy Andrei Malyshev and financial director Svyatoslav Ponurov. On July 3, 2016, Melamed by the decision of Moscow’s Basmanny Court was placed under house arrest. Ponurov was arrested and Malyshev, who has been undergoing medical treatment abroad for a long time, was arrested in absentia and put on the international wanted list.

Investigators said Melamed, co-owner of the Alemar investment group, ensured a conclusion a contract between this company and the state corporation on providing consultative services in 2008 and 2009. According to investigators, Alemar’s former staff members Malyshev and Ponurov later joined the corporation and transferred more than 220 million rubles illegally. Melamed did not admit his guilt. Rusnano also said Melamed and other defendants were not guilty and the corporation did not bear any losses due to Melamed’s actions.

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