"I consider this a big tragedy. It has a negative impact on the business climate," Gref said stressing the importance of an unbiased investigation into the Yevtushenkov's case.
Yevtushenkov, chairman and majority owner of the Russian diversified holding company Sistema, was placed on Tuesday 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 who is 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 Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Yevtushenkov is charged with money laundering in the case of theft of Bashkortostan energy companies’ shares.
“The investigation has sufficient grounds to believe that OJSC AFK Sistema Chairman Vladimir Yevtushenkov is complicit in the legalization (laundering) of criminally obtained funds,” Markin said.
If convicted, Yevtushenkov may be sentenced to seven years in prison. Yevtushenkov has rejected all the accusations and insists on his innocence.