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Investigators show criminal case resolution to ex-defense minister Serdyukov

December 03, 2013, 16:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On Tuesday, the former minister was questioned as a suspect in the criminal case over negligence

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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Bobylev

MOSCOW, December 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Investigators have shown former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov the resolution on a criminal case against him, his lawyer said.

On Tuesday, the former minister was questioned as a suspect in the criminal case over negligence during the construction of a road to the Zhitnoye recreation center and its development at expense of budget funding, lawyer Konstantin Rivkin said.

Serdyukov denied the charges and refused to give evidence.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Serdyukov had used Article 51 of the Russian Constitution which gives the right not to testify against oneself. The same right was used by former head of the Defense Ministry's property department Yevgenia Vasilyeva.

However, it did not prevent the investigators to charge her under several articles of the Criminal Code, Markin said, noting that as for Serdyukov, the investigators have enough evidence proving his direct involvement in illegal actions.

"Today, Anatoly Serdyukov and I arrived for questioning. They showed us the resolution on opening criminal proceedings over negligence under Article 293, Part 1 of the Criminal Code," Rivkin said adding that "the resolution disproves many accusations carried by the media."

"We agreed to participate in procedural actions within the framework of the Criminal Procedure Code," the lawyer said refusing to comment further. Nor did he tell when his client might be questioned again.

Television journalists who gathered near the Main Military Investigation Department (GVSU) on Tuesday did not see Serdyukov who had apparently left through backdoor.

Investigators said Serdyukov, at the post of defense minister, issued a verbal order to his subordinates to tap budget funds for the construction of a road from the village of Krasa in Astrakhan region's Ikrayninsky district to the island of Shkolny which accommodated the Zhitnoye recreation center.

"Serdyukov explained his order by his plans to build a recreation center for Defense Ministry personnel. Also, he ordered to develop Zhitnoye's territory," Markin said.

Landscaping was done by conscripts from an aviation unit, while the road was built by railway troops. The soldiers were engaged in works which had nothing to do with their service, training or railway construction, he went on.

Eventually, the road could only be used by Zhitnoye owners and visitors.

According to Markin, no documents, orders or directives were issued to substantiate the use of budget funds or establish the legal rights of the Defense Ministry to this road. The losses caused to the state exceeded 56 million rubles.

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