House arrest of suspect in Defense Ministry property scandal extended
MOSCOW, March 20 - RAPSI, Diana Gutsul. The Khamovnichesky District Court in Moscow has extended the detention of Yevgenia Vasilyeva, former CEO of the Defense Ministry's Property Management Department who has been charged as part of the 13 billion rubles ($433 million) fraud case until May 23, RAPSI reports from the courtroom on Wednesday.
The court ruled in favor of the investigators' motion to extend her house arrest, while it has also allowed her to take daily walks of less than one hour.
The investigator said they needed more time for the probe into the case, noting that Vasilyeva remains in control of her former subordinates, including those whose whereabouts are unknown.
Vasilyeva has been charged as part of the fraud case involving the illegal sales of property, land and shares belonging to the subsidiaries of the state-run Oboronservice holding company. She faces up to six years in prison.
According to investigators, Vasilyeva, together with several others, embezzled assets worth 360 million rubles ($11.56 million).
Also defendants in this case are Yekaterina Smetanova, former CEO of the Expert legal support center, who was released on a pledge not to leave town, and her husband Maxim Zakutailo, former CEO of an Air Force depot, who has been placed in detention.
Vasilyeva is under house arrest and must wear an electronic bracelet around her ankle.
A Moscow court has arrested Vasilyeva's property, which includes one apartment in Moscow, two apartments in St. Petersburg, a house in the Leningrad Region and a 600 square meter commercial property in central Moscow.
Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was dismissed amid this corruption scandal last November to ensure impartiality in the criminal investigations. He has been summoned twice for questioning as a witness as part of the embezzlement cases linked to Oboronservice.
Oboronservice 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, and housing management services for military towns.