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Kremlin comments on arrest of Russian billionaire brothers

Tough measures are underway on monitoring the use of state funds, Putin's spokesman warns
Magomed Magomedov  Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS
Magomed Magomedov
© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 2. /TASS/. The arrest of Russian tycoon Ziyavudin Magomedov and his brother Magomed is not a single action, but part of focused and systematic fight against embezzlement of state funds, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

"No, this [arrest of Magomedov brothers] is not a kind of a single action," Peskov said.

A very tough and focused policy is underway on monitoring the use of state funds, he told reporters.

Peskov refused to comment on the Magomedov case, other than that the investigation is continuing. "There will be a trial that will define if those detained are guilty or not," he said.

The Kremlin believes that speculations about some link between the arrest of the Magomedov brothers and the current political processes, including the formation of a new government are "political gossip."

"Most likely it’s all political gossip," Russian presidential spokesman pointed out.

"Let’s leave it for political scientists to discuss," Peskov said. "We cannot take part in such debate."

On Saturday, Ziyavudin Magomedov, his brother Magomed Magomedov and Artur Maksidov, the head of a company in the Summa Group, were placed in custody until May 30 by a Moscow court on suspicion of embezzling over 2.5 billion rubles (some $43.7 million at the current exchange rate).

Earlier, they were detained as part of a criminal investigation into fraud and organized crime, launched by the Russian Interior Ministry. During Saturday’s hearings, the three suspects denied all charges pressed against them.

With a fortune estimated at $1.4 bln, Ziyavudin Magomedov ranked 63th in Forbes list in 2017. His key asset is Summa Group, a diversified holding owning companies involved in port logistics, engineering, construction, telecommunication and oil and gas sectors.