Suspect in Bashneft case Levon Airapetyan hospitalized
MOSCOW, December 10 (RAPSI) - Businessman Levon Airapetyan, who stands charged with embezzlement and money laundering in Bashneft case, has been hospitalized, RAPSI learnt in Moscow's Basmanny District Court on Wednesday.
Airapetyan was diagnosed with bladder cancer, according to his attorney Rudolf Ambartsumov. He said that due to the disease Airapetyan couldn't be placed in pretrial facility.
Bashneft oil company was controlled by the government of Russia’s Bashkortostan region until 2003, when a major stake was sold to companies affiliated with Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov. The company was privatized in 2009 when Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate AFK Sistema gained control of it.
Investigators opened a criminal case last April linked to deals with Bashneft shares in 2002 to 2009.
Rakhimov and billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov were implicated in the sale of Bashneft stock in 2009. Rakhimov was charged in absentia with embezzlement and money laundering, put on the international wanted list.
Airapetyan was allegedly involved in the 2009 sale of Bashneft to Sistema.
Investigators claim that Airapetyan has dual citizenship and owns property abroad. Particularly, he most recently resided in Monaco. This was presented by investigators as a sufficient reason for detaining the businessman. In early October, he was placed under house arrest. On Wednesday, Moscow's Basmanny District Court extended his house arrest until April 19, 2015.
Yevtushenkov, the Sistema board chairman and one of Russia’s richest people, was placed under house arrest as well.