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UK High Court of Justice sentences fugitive Russian ex-banker to 2 years in prison

February 12, 18:58 UTC+3 LONDON
The High Court will issue the arrest warrant after it has found the fugitive Russian ex-banker guilty of 12 out of 17 violations ascribed to him and sentenced him to 2 years in prison
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Sergei Pugachyov

Sergei Pugachyov

© Anton Denisov/ITAR-TASS

LONDON, February 12. /TASS/. The High Court of Justice in London has sentenced fugitive Russian ex-banker and former head of the International Industrial Bank Sergei Pugachyov to two years in prison, according to a decision announced on Friday.

Judge Vivien Rose has said that Pugachyov whose extradition Russia has been seeking has been found guilty of 12 out of 17 violations ascribed to him.

Specifically, Pugachyov, the ex-senator from the Republic of Tyva in south Siberia in the upper house of Russia’s parliament, has been found guilty of giving false evidence, concealing assets and fleeing the British jurisdiction in violation of the court’s order.

Judge Rose said the ex-banker’s decision to leave the British jurisdiction despite the court’s order was among Pugachyov’s major breaches.

Pugachyov motivated his decision to leave Britain in June last year by a serious threat to his life on the territory of the United Kingdom. However, the judge came to the conclusion that the ex-banker had not presented any justifications for his departure.

The ex-head of the International Industrial Bank was not present at the High Court when the verdict was read out. The ex-banker who holds a French passport is currently staying in France.

Pugachyov has dismissed all the accusations as politically motivated.

Judge Rose has also said the High Court in London will issue a warrant arrest for the fugitive Russian ex-banker.

In Russia, the ex-banker is accused of large-scale embezzlement and the abuse of powers.

According to Russia’s Investigative Committee, the International Industrial Bank headed by Pugachyov issued 120 loans worth 64 billion rubles ($2.1 billion) in 2009 to his controlled organizations and these loans were never repaid.

Also, as investigators believe, 28 billion rubles ($933 million) worth of unsecured loans obtained from the Central Bank of Russia were stolen from the International Industrial Bank in 2008-2009.

In November 2015, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a new criminal case against the former senator and ex-head of the International Industrial Bank.

The ex-banker was accused of the abuse of power in 2006 when the bank issued a $700,000 loan for the purchase of an apartment and subsequently gave up its loan claim under a forged letter.

In 2014, the High Court of Justice issued a court writ at the request of Russia’s Deposit Insurance Agency and the bankruptcy administrator of the International Industrial Bank on seizing Pugachyov’s assets, which totaled $2 billion.

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