VEB Deputy Chairman Ballo cleared of abuse of office charges
MOSCOW, January 30 (RAPSI) – Abuse of office charges against state-run Vnesheconombank (VEB) Deputy Chairman Anatoly Ballo have been dismissed, his lawyer Tagir Samakayev told RAPSI on Friday.
The investigation lasted for over two years. In March 2012, the Tverskoy District Court in Moscow requested 5-million-ruble bail, which the defendant paid. “The bail has not yet been returned, but this process can take some time,” Samakayev said. “We are also considering filing for exoneration and compensation.”
He concluded that Ballo’s defense team is satisfied with the outcome despite red tape and the long time it took to establish the truth.
The case concerns Evraziyskiy, a water supply operator in southern Russia, in which VEB has been a major shareholder since 2006. Investigators alleged that Ballo was involved in the embezzlement of $14 million, part of a loan which VEB issued to Evraziyskiy for buying 100% of the water utility Yugvodokanal. Investigators found that the stolen funds were deposited into offshore companies’ Swiss bank accounts and charged Ballo with fraud.
He faced up to 10 years in prison.
They later admitted that the embezzlement had not been confirmed and changed the charge from fraud to abuse of office, arguing that Ballo was not acting in the best interests of Vnesheconombank.