MOSCOW, May 17 (Itar-Tass) - Businessman Viktor Baturin claimed he is being prosecuted for INTEKO promissory notes fraud because of a row with his sister Yelena Baturina, the wife of former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
"If I hadn't quarreled with my sister, all the debts would have been paid. Inteko fired me under strange circumstances in December 2005; I had a major conflict with Yelena Baturina and litigation began," he said during a testimony at Moscow's Gagarinsky court on Friday.
Baturin had pleaded not guilty, and said his case was not criminal. It is a civil dispute that broke out after a row with Yelena Baturin and the division of family business.
The defendant said he had run Inteko as first deputy director general and that he had a power of attorney for full-fledged management. "I signed an overwhelming majority of company documents," he stated.
After Yuri Luzhkov's resignation from the post of Moscow mayor in 2011 and Yelena Baturina's departure from Russia, the Inteko company was sold and he decided to recover a debt from the company which he had regarded as belonging to his family.
Baturin told the court he had negotiated about debt repayment for a long time, and obtained a legal assessment of promissory notes, but that law-enforcement bodies detained him.
Earlier, he said he had no doubts that he would be acquitted: "I'm confident I'll be acquitted; all the evidence of my innocence is on hand; it is just a matter of time. My attitude to the charges has not changed since the beginning. I acted in good faith: I came to show promissory notes. It's my money, they have to return it."
He was placed under arrest on November 30, 2011 and charged with several counts of grand fraud, including attempted theft of 10.8 million roubles under fake promissory notes of the INTEKO company and attempted theft of 5.6 billion roubles.
According to the investigator, on November 28, 2011, he presented a false promissory note of the INTEKO company at its office in Sadovaya-Spasskaya Street, 28. It was worth 10.8 million roubles, and Baturin demanded immediate payment.
INTEKO personnel had misgivings regarding the authenticity of the promissory note. They called police who detained Viktor Baturin.
"One can conclude from the defendant's testimony that he was aware that the security was not authentic. In addition, he stated he had signed this promissory note at direct order of INTEKO president, his sister Yelena Baturina, and that there were several such promissory notes in his office," the Interior Ministry's main office reported then.
The entrepreneur claimed it is impossible to forge a promissory note in principle, as only a single copy can be issued.
In June 2011, Moscow's Presnya court gave Baturin a three-year suspended sentence for real estate fraud. "A verdict is a verdict; a severe reprimand on record; nothing to worry about," Baturin said in dispassionate comments on the sentence.
Earlier, investigators dropped a 23-millioin-rouble tax evasion case against him due to the statute of limitation.
On April 9, 2012, more than 1.3 million roubles were collected from Baturin after a court granted a claim by the Sochi administration. The sum was recovered to pay Baturin's debt for leasing a land plot on the premises of an Adler health resort in the period from 2008 through 2010.