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Moscow court arrests lawyer suspected of complicity in embezzling $5mln from Roscosmos

The counsel for Tretyakov’s defense asked for a more lenient measure of restraint

MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. Moscow’s Babushkinsky District Court has arrested Chairman of the Tretyakov & Partners law firm Igor Tretyakov accused of complicity in embezzling 330 million rubles ($5 million) from Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos, TASS reports from the courtroom.

"The court rules to place Tretyakov into custody until September 17 as a measure of restraint," the judge read out the verdict. The defense team is expected to appeal against the court’s ruling.

As Russia’s Investigative Committee said in its request for choosing a measure of restraint for the suspect, Tretyakov is accused of committing a serious crime, was on a federal wanted list, may hide from the court and the investigation and destroy evidence on this case, and also has extensive ties in law-enforcement agencies and may exert pressure on a witness or falsify documents.

"We request placing Tretyakov into custody as a measure of restraint. His complicity is confirmed by the case files and the expert studies that were carried out," a representative of the Investigative Committee said. Prosecutors backed the investigators’ request.

The counsel for Tretyakov’s defense asked for a more lenient measure of restraint, for example, a house arrest, and also requested postponing the court’s sitting by 72 hours. As the lawyer also stated, Tretyakov was ready to voluntarily turn to law enforcement agencies as he had no intentions to go hiding and was on vacation in Irkutsk [East Siberia], "having booked two way air tickets beforehand."

"Our defendant took part in the Baikal Mile competition and won a prize there," the counsel for the defense said.

According to the case files announced in the court, Tretyakov refused to give testimony after he was detained.

"All I need to do is to prove that I participated in 20 cases in the Lavochkin Scientific and Production Association. I need to prove that I am innocent and that is why I am requesting the court to choose a written undertaking for me not to leave the place rather than even a house arrest," the suspect argued.

The embezzlement case

As Russia’s Investigative Committee said, Lavochkin Chief Executive Sergei Lemeshevsky, Head of the Lavochkin Legal Department Yekaterina Averyanova and Chairman of the Tretyakov & Partners law firm Tretyakov are accused of stealing 330 million rubles from Roscosmos.

According to the investigation, they stole this sum over the period of two years by signing bogus agreements with the Tretyakov & Partners law firm for legal services, which in actual fact were performed by the employees of the Lavochkin Legal Department.

The investigators have charged the suspects with large-scale fraud (part 4, article 159 of Russia’s Criminal Code). Lemeshevsky and Averyanova have been placed into custody until September 19.