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Investigators believe former Russian anti-corruption officer has castle in London — source

December 13, 2017, 23:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 13. /TASS/. Investigators on Wednesday searched for evidence that Dmitry Zakharchenko, a former Russian anti-corruption investigator now charged with corruption-related crimes, owns a castle in London, a source close to the investigation told TASS.

Investigators believe that Zakharchenko, a former employee of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for Economic Security and Corruption Control, owns a castle in London that he bought while in office. Wednesday's search was carried out in the home of Zakharchenko’s common-law wife, Marina .

"During the search, FSB officers requested to submit to them foreign passports and documents for real estate abroad, owned by Zakharchenko, including a castle in London," the source said.

Lawyer Alexander Karabanov, who defends Semynina's interests, said his client had no such documents.

"My client has no information about this, let alone owns any kind of real estate abroad. Besides, the money taken from her today was her only means of subsistence," he said.

Karabanov said earlier on Wednesday that during the search, officers seized about 2,000 euro, mobile phones and tablet computers, as well as medical documents of Semynina’s children.

Interior Ministry’s colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko was arrested last year on corruption charges and abuse of authority. According to the court ruling, he received information about an impending search at the now-defunct Nota-bank and forewarned its financial director, Galina Marchukova, of the coming investigative operation.

On December 1, a court in Moscow has sustained in full the lawsuit in which the Prosecutor-General’s Office demanded converting into state income Zakharchenko’s arrested properties and cash, worth more than 9 billion rubles ($152 million) in total.

At the moment, the former official is accused of four counts of bribery, as well as of power abuse and obstruction of justice and investigation.

A source close to investigation earlier told TASS that the final version of the indictment will be delivered in mid-January 2018. According to the source, no new episodes have emerged so far. The source also said that one of the four episodes, in which Zakharchenko is accused of receiving a bribe of 3.5 mln rubles ($60,254) in the form of a discount card to the La Maree restaurant, may be excluded from the case.

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