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Chairman of AFK Sistema Yevtushenkov released

September 19, 2014, 17:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The measure of restraint for AFK Sistema chairman and major shareholder Vladimir Yevtushenkov was changed to a written pledge not to leave town.

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MOSCOW, September 19. /ITAR-TASS/. President of AFK Sistema conglomerate Mikhail Shamolin confirmed on Friday that the company's chairman and owner Vladimir Yevtushenkov has been released from house arrest.

"He's been released. I have no details. I just know this as we talked on the phone," Shamolin told reporters.

Earlier, a source said Yevtushenkov was released at about 16:45 Moscow Time (12:45 UTC). “He contacted us,” he said.

The measure of restraint for Yevtushenkov was changed to a written pledge not to leave town.

Late on Wednesday, Moscow’s Basmannyi court upheld the arrest of Bashneft’s shares owned by the AFK Sistema services conglomerate.

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.

AFK Sistema CEO placed under house arrest

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 he were convicted, the Sistema chairman could be sentenced to seven years in prison. He has rejected all the accusations and insisted on his innocence.

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