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Court upholds the arrest of Bashneft shares — spokesperson

September 18, 2014, 21:30 UTC+3
The court’s spokeswoman Anna Fadeyeva explained the court had not discussed whether the arrest of Bashneft’s shares was legal
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Vladimir Yevtushenkov

Vladimir Yevtushenkov

© ITAR-TASS/Grigory Sysoyev

MOSCOW, September 18 /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow’s Basmannyi court has upheld the arrest of Bashneft’s shares owned by the AFK Sistema services conglomerate, a court source told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

The court’s spokeswoman Anna Fadeyeva said the court had turned down the appeal of lawyer Vladimir Kozin who is representing the interests of AFK Sistema’s head Vladimir Yevtushenkov.

Fadeyeva explained the court had not discussed whether the arrest of Bashneft’s shares was legal. It discussed the legality of investigator’s actions and concluded there was nothing wrong in them.

Yevtushenkov, chairman and majority owner of the Russian diversified holding company Sistema, was placed on September 16 under house arrest on suspicion of involvement in a money-laundering scheme with the assets of oil companies in the Urals Republic of Bashkortostan, which are now part of Bashneft oil producer controlled by the tycoon.

Yevtushenkov, ranked by Forbes among Russia’s 20 richest people with an estimated fortune of $9 billion, will stay under house arrest until mid-November in his house in the elite settlement of Zhukovka outside Moscow.

Russian investigators accuse Yevtushenkov of involvement in a money-laundering scheme, in which Sistema acquired Bashkortostan’s oil firms that had been earlier privatized by Ural Rakhimov, a son of the republic’s former head, Murtaza Rakhimov.

The stocks of firms owned by Yevtushenkov plummeted on Wednesday on news of his arrest, with public companies integrated into Sistema losing over $5.5 billion in their market value.

If convicted, the Sistema chairman may be sentenced to seven years in prison. He has rejected all the accusations and insists on his innocence.

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