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МOSCOW, March 5 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow's Tverskoi court on March 18 will begin to hear the criminal case over the theft of 245 million roubles from the Valery Gergiev Charitable Foundation.
According to the preliminary hearing which was held behind closed doors, the case will be heard on the merits at 14:00, Moscow time, on March 18," spokeswoman for the Tverskoi court Alexandra Berezina told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
The defendants are Igor Zotov, accused of the commission of crimes envisioned by Article 160, Part 4 of Russia’s penal code /"misappropriation and squandering in an especially large amount"/, and Kazbek Lakuti, who was charged with abetting the squandering.
"Head of the White Night Stars music festival and the Moscow Easter festival Igor Zotov and his acquaintance Kazbek Lakuti designed a scheme in 2009, which they used to steal 245 million from the Valery Gergiev foundation. They remitted the stolen money to the accounts of firms they controlled, and then used it to purchase six expensive apartments and six parking slots in an elite apartment house in central Moscow. The defendants registered the ownership rights to the purchased real estate to their wives," Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass earlier.
"To conceal the embezzlement, they took loans through the firms controlled by Zotov - the White Night Star festival and the Moscow Easter festival - although they were aware that these loans could not be repaid.
"The damage caused to all the three organizations, reached 472 million roubles. These funds, received by the foundation as charity, were to have been used for promoting activities in the areas of culture, arts, education and the development of charity programs, as well as for holding conferences in exhibitions," the SK spokesman said.
The defendants’ movable property and real estate facilities have been arrested to reimburse the damage. Zotov and Lakuti denied wrongdoing.