MOSCOW, February 8 (Itar-Tass) – Investigators began questioning the Moscow region’s former Deputy Prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko, who was extradited from Poland on Thursday.
“At the Investigative Committee, questioning of the Moscow region’s former First Deputy Prosecutor began. He was delivered to the building in Tekhnichesky Pereulok shortly befor the beginning of the questioning, by 10:00 Moscow time,” the source said.
The investigators will file on Friday an application to the Moscow City Court about extention of Ignatenko’s arrest.
Earlier, the defence stated their client would be seeking to prove his innocence at the trial. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office confirmed Ignatenko's extradition on Thursday.
In February 2011, the Federal Security Service reported that it had exposed an illegal gambling network in 15 towns of the region. It brought an estimated five to ten million dollars a year in revenue. The network had operated for some three years.
Law-enforcement bodies said Ivan Nazarov, together with Alla Guseva and Marat Mamyev, were the masterminds of the illegal business. Initially, they were charged with fraud, but later the charges were changed to illegal entrepreneurship. The suspects signed plea bargain agreements and were released on recognizance in June 2011.
Nazarov said there were 300 gaming clubs in the regions, including 15, which he controlled personally. After the gambling ban was introduced, the police suggested he paid them bribes. Nazarov said they had collected 80 percent /of earnings/ in bribes - prosecutors, police, etc, in order to turn a blind eye to the operation of gambling parlours.
At least 21 former law-enforcement officials were suspects. Bribery charges were brought against former head of the supervision department of the regional prosecutor's office Dmitry Urumov, former prosecutor of the town of Odintsovo Roman Nishchemenko and former prosecutor of the town of Serpukhov Oleg Bazylyan, head of the Interior Ministry's "K" department Farit Temirgaliyev and his deputy Mikhail Kulikov. Former Noginsk prosecutor Vladimir Glebov was accused of exceeding office powers.
Alexander Ignatenko and Eudard Kaplun were put on the wanted list. In August 2012, Kaplun turned himself in and was questioned as a suspect.
Interpol issued a wanted notice for Ignatenko on charges of fraud and taking 47 million roubles in bribes from suspected masterminds of illegal gambling business. On January 1, 2012, the former prosecutor was detained by Poland’s security agents as he was leaving the Zakopane resort where he had arrived several days before for reunion with his family. He spent a year in a Polish prison awaiting a ruling on his extradition.
In late October, 2012, Poland's justice minister said he had decided to extradite Ignatenko, but that the latter could only be tried on charges of corruption, and that Poland was not extraditing the suspect under the fraud charges.
Under international norms, the extraditing country can impose such restriction if it doubts the correctness of the charges.