MOSCOW, July 15. / TASS /. Moscow Court considers the arrest of more than 925 million rubles in bank accounts of companies that, according to investigators, are related to the former Open Government Minister, Mikhail Abyzov, accused of fraud, as legitimate, TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom on Monday.

TASS Russian News Agency | Jul 15, 2019 at 4:46 PM

ECONOMY: ABYZOV-PROPERTY-COURT

MOSCOW, July 15. / TASS /. Moscow Court considers the arrest of more than 925 million rubles in bank accounts of companies that, according to investigators, are related to the former Open Government Minister, Mikhail Abyzov, accused of fraud, as legitimate, TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom on Monday.

"The June 11 ruling of Moscow’s Basmanny District Court is to be recognized as legitimate, and the appeals of the defense are rejected," the judge announced.

On July 11, the Basmanny Court seized the funds of the companies of Ru-Com LLC and Ru-Com Invest JSC in the total amount of over 115 million rubles, which were opened in Sovcombank and Gazprom bank. Also, the arrest was imposed on foreign currency funds in the amount of 811 million rubles in the accounts of foreign offshore companies.

According to the defendant’s lawyer, most of the arrested property belongs to legal entities, "who may have one title owner". "The opinion of the investigation and the court that Abyzov is the illegal owner of the arrested property," he noted. The defense of the accused considers the decisions of the courts of first instance pressure on his business, on himself and his partners.

At the same time, the court changed the ruling and excluded from the rulings on the imposition of arrest of property, that it belongs to Abyzov, and set the arrest for two months. Thus, the Moscow City Court agreed with the arguments of the defender Sergei Drozda that the arrested property belongs to legal entities and not to Abyzov personally.

Earlier, the city courts indefinitely imposed a security arrest on Abyzov’s property totaling about 20.6 billion rubles. According to the investigation, the arrest of property is necessary to ensure the payment of compensation to victims and a fine to the state in the event of Abyzov's conviction.

Abyzov's Case

According to the investigation, in 2011-2014, Abyzov was the beneficiary owner of a number of offshore commercial organizations, created and headed the criminal community. Law enforcement agencies believe that, together with his accomplices, he fraudulently stole

4 bln rubles from the Siberian Energy Company and Regional Electric Grids, which produce and transmit electricity in the Novosibirsk Region. According to the investigators, the stolen money in full was withdrawn abroad. Investigators believe that, by their unlawful actions, the accomplices of this crime "have put at risk the sustainable economic development and energy security of several regions of the country."

Alexander Pelipasov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of First Construction Fund, Maxim Rusakov, Deputy Director of Ru-Kom President Nikolai Stepanov, President of the Novosibirsk Regional Sambo Federation, former Director General of the Ru-com Group Nikolai Stepanov, Director for Economics and Finance Ramis Galina Freidenber, ex-general director of Regional Electric Networks Sergey Ilyichev have all been arrested as part of the Abyzov case. They are charged with committing crimes under parts 2 and 3 of Article 210 and Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("Creation, management and participation in a criminal community using an official position", "Fraud , committed using an official position by an organized group ").

The individuals involved in the case deny guilt and insist that civil law relations have become the subject of a criminal case.