Russian Space Systems head denies involvement in GLONASS fraud
MOSCOW, July 23 - RAPSI. Yuri Urlichich, General Director and General Designer of the Russian Space Systems, said that he is not the founder of the two firms involved in the criminal case on the non-targeted expenditure of budget funds stipulated for the development of the GLONASS navigation system.
He said that Russian Space Systems is cooperating closely with investigators and expressed hope that in the nearest future it would be proven that the claims against the company are groundless.
Previously the Interior Ministry stated that funds for developing the Global Navigation Satellite System or GLONASS were misspent and that it had opened a criminal case in this regard.
According to the Interior Ministry, Russian Space Systems executives are suspected to have contracted companies to undertake research which did not have the necessary facilities or personnel for the job.
Ministry officers found that in reality the work was carried out by the Russian Space Systems staff, while payment for the alleged contract works was remitted to the accounts of two companies controlled by the suspects. Subsequently the funds were laundered through a system of fly-by-night companies.
The federal space authority's audit has confirmed the misspending. A criminal case has been opened for abuse of power, with a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.