Russian ex-defense minister could testify in subordinate's fraud case
MOSCOW, June 20 (RAPSI) – Ex-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov could testify in the case of Yevgenia Vasilyeva, former head of the Defense Ministry’s Property Department, attorney Konstantin Rivkin told RAPSI.
There are over 200 witnesses in Vasilyeva’s case, who could testify for either side, her lawyer, Hasan-Ali Borokov, told RAPSI on Friday.
“The pre-trial investigation suggested there were over 200 witnesses, but this doesn’t mean that all of them would testify against the defendant,” the attorney said.
He refused to say if Serdyukov was among the witnesses.
Vasilyeva was charged in a fraud case involving the illegal sale of land and other property, including shares belonging to the subsidiaries of the state-run Oboronservis holding company.
Damages from her actions have been estimated at over 3 billion rubles ($88 million). She faces up to six years in prison if convicted.
The Zamoskvoretsky District Court in Moscow has sentenced another defendant in the Defense Ministry embezzlement case, Natalya Dynkova, to three years in prison.
According to investigators, Dynkova, former head of the Defense Ministry’s 439th Central Experimental Military Cartographic Factory, signed a patently disadvantageous contract for the lease of commercial space in Moscow to StroiAlliance, a company founded by her son, Nikolai Dynkov, who then sublet the property to 56 companies. As a result of that scheme, Dynkova’s firm allegedly earned over 34 million rubles (about $1 million).
Serdyukov lost his position as Defense Minister in November 2012 amid a high-profile corruption scandal. In December 2013, he was charged with negligence after investigators estimated damages to the state at 56 million rubles’ ($1.6 million). Serdyukov, who ordered soldiers to build a private road to a Caspian Sea holiday resort owned by his brother-in-law, was pardoned earlier this year, but the information was deliberately covered up under the terms of an agreement reached between the minister’s attorneys and the investigators.
Oboronservis comprises service companies involved in armaments and military vehicle repair and maintenance, construction materials and food production, power facility operation, cartography and printing, and housing management services for military towns.