Suspect in Defense Ministry fraud case enters into plea bargain
MOSCOW, December 12 - RAPSI. The Military Prosecutor's Office announced the conclusion of a pre-trial agreement on cooperation with Yekaterina Smetanova, a suspect in the Oboronservis fraud case.
The special procedure ensures a trial without reviewing the evidence or holding witness testimonies. Furthermore, the court cannot sentence the defendant in the case to the maximum punishment. When providing the request on considering the case in a special procedure the defendant pleads guilty of the crime he has been charged with.
It was announced in October that five fraud cases had been initiated on the sale of property, land and shares belonging to Oboronservis, a holding company under the ministry's control. The losses involved were originally thought to be in excess of 3 billion rubles ($97.3 million). Later it was reported that the damages in the criminal cases have exceeded 6.7 billion rubles ($217.3 million).
The court arrested former head of the Expert Legal Support Center Yekaterina Smetanova and her husband Maxim Zakutaylo, the former general director of an air force warehouse near Moscow.
Also Yevgenia Vasilyeva, former head of the Defense Ministry's property relations department, was charged with a large-scale fraud in the case of the Oboronservis holding. She was placed on house arrest.
Oboronservis comprises service companies involved in armaments and military vehicle repair and maintenance, construction materials and food production, power facilities operation, cartography and printing goods production, as well as housing services for military towns.