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Court delays hearing on billionaire Yevtushenkov’s appeal against house arrest

September 24, 2014, 13:00 UTC+3
Vladimir Yevtushenkov as placed under house arrest last week on suspicion of involvement in a case of illegal privatization of oil companies in the Urals Republic of Bashkortostan
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Vladimir Yevtushenkov

Vladimir Yevtushenkov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Filippov

MOSCOW, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. The Moscow City Court has postponed consideration of businessman Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s appeal against his house arrest to Thursday because investigators were unable to present their objections to the house arrest cancellation, judge Yury Pasyunin said Wednesday.

The court has thus satisfied a petition by Yevtushenkov’s lawyer. The businessman has not seen a document containing investigators’ objections to his release so far, Pasyunin said. “A court session has been delayed until 11.30am Moscow time (7.30am GMT) on September 25 as the Criminal Procedure Code requires that the copies of a complaint and objections to it be handed over to the accused person,” a court judge said. Yevtushenkov’s lawyer asked to release the businessman on bail with the sum amounting to 300 million rubles, the judge said.

Sources familiar with the situation told PRIME that investigators are likely to oppose releasing the businessman. “Investigators will most likely object against the change of pre-trial restrictions against Yevtushenkov,” one of the sources said.

The shares of the holding company Sistema plummeted by 2% after their growth at the Moscow Stock Exchange on Wednesday on news that a Moscow court delayed considering an appeal by Yevtushenkov.

Yevtushenkov placed under house arrest

Billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov ranked by Forbes among Russia’s 20 richest people with an estimated fortune of $9 billion was placed under house arrest last week on suspicion of involvement in a case of illegal privatization of oil companies in the Urals Republic of Bashkortostan.

The oil firms privatized in Bashkortostan are now part of Bashneft, which is majority-controlled by Sistema, a Russian diversified holding company owned and managed by Yevtushenkov.

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

Yevtushenkov has been placed under house arrest until November 16. If convicted, he may face up to seven years in prison.

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