SOCHI, May 12. /TASS/. The Kremlin says that no pressures are being exerted on the media holding company RBC and that Russian President Vladimir Putin has not met with RBC owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
"I know nothing about such a meeting [of Putin and Prokhorov] and it is very likely there has not been none," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
He advised the media to avoid linking searches at the office of an RBC affiliate with pressures on RBC as such.
"As a matter of fact, no pressures are being exerted. Whenever some investigative action is taken in relation to some companies, the question should be addressed to the ministries and agencies concerned," Peskov said.
The RNS news portal on May 11 said the investigative department of the Moscow police force opened a criminal case on gross fraud charges at the request of one of the former shareholders of the CJSC Byte-Telecom (RBC-controlled operator of the data processing center) Aleksandr Panov, who complained he and his colleague Yaroslav Karetsky had been stripped of 25% of the company’s shares.
On the same day the investigative department said it had opened a criminal case over the theft of a 25%-stake in an electric communication company one million rubles worth.
As the Moscow police force said, yet-to-be identified persons in August 2014 came to an inter-district tax inspectorate office to present for registration forged papers that had been used to steal 25% of Byte Telecom shares from their owners. On April 29 criminal proceedings were launched under Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code (Fraud).
The RBC is one of Russia’s largest media holding companies. It owns a news portal of the same name, RBC Daily, RBC magazine, RBC-TV television channel, domain registrar Ru-Center Group and other entities. Mikhail Prokhorov’s ONEXIM has controlling stake in the RBC.