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Court rules to arrest two suspects in Vostochny spaceport bribe case

Moscow’s Basmanny court rules to arrest two suspects accused of taking a five-million-ruble bribe ($77,795) in the case opened into embezzlement in the construction of Russia’s Vostochny spaceport

MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. Moscow’s Basmanny court has sanctioned the arrest of two new suspects in the case opened into embezzlement in the construction of Russia’s Vostochny spaceport in the Amur region.

The court ruled to arrest at least until June 20 the former chief of Spetsstroitekhnologii firm at the Federal Agency for Special Construction, Vladimir Shamailov, and his suspected accomplice Renat Syamiullin.

The court agreed with the position in prosecution that staying out of prison the suspects could flee investigation as well as try to destroy the evidence. It is expected that today’s court ruling will be challenged.

Syamiullin and Shamailov are suspected of bribe-taking for attracting in 2014 third-party subcontractors to construction work within the 207-million-ruble state contract. Under the agreement, the contractor was to build for the space port housing, communications, special buildings as well as develop public services and amenities.

Syamiullin is suspected of receiving a five-million-rouble ($77,795) bribe and later handing it over to Shamailov, the investigator said during the court session. She said official charges against them will be brought within the next ten days. Both plead not guilty.

The Vostochny spaceport is being built near the town of Uglegorsk in the Amur region, Russia’s Far East. Construction work began in 2010. Vostochny has become the first national civilian cosmodrome that will ensure Russia’s full access to space.

The first launch from Russia’s Vostochny new spaceport with the help of the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket took place at 05:01 a.m. Moscow time (02:01 GMT) on April 28. However the rocket was launched on the second try. It was initially scheduled to be launched in the small hours on April 27. However ninety seconds before blastoff the launch was aborted.

According to the public prosecution office, more than 30 criminal cases are investigated over misappropriation, embezzlement and fraud during construction work at the cosmodrome.