Russian nationalist Potkin appeals sanity evaluation
MOSCOW, March 12 (RAPSI) – Alexander Potkin, also known as Alexander Belov, former head of the Movement Against Illegal Migration, who was accused of laundering money that was embezzled from BTA Bank, will file an appeal against a court ruling to place him in a mental facility, attorney Ivan Mironov told RAPSI on Thursday.
Mironov said Belov had been moved from a pretrial detention facility to a mental hospital.
“We see no legitimate reason for applying compulsory medical measures against him,” the lawyer said, adding that Belov’s mental health has been evaluated before.
“He demanded that the evaluation results be kept confidential and that the procedure be conducted in the presence of a lawyer. The investigators obviously interpreted this as impudence and decided to punish him by sending him to a hospital,” Mironov added.
Belov’s lawyers fear that he could be fed mood-changing substances in the hospital, which could have a negative effect on his health.
Investigators believe that Belov (Potkin) was a mastermind in a money laundering scheme in 2012-2014. He was also suspected of involvement in laundering money that was embezzled from BTA Bank by its former chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov.
Ablyazov, who allegedly defrauded BTA Bank of more than $6 billion, left Kazakhstan for the UK where he was granted political asylum in 2011.
Belov is also a suspect in an extremism case.
Belov was arrested on October 15, 2014 at the Hotel Intourist Kolomenskoe in Moscow on charges related to the embezzlement of $5 billion from BTA Bank. At the time of the arrest, Belov allegedly had documents on him that effectively tied him to the embezzlement.
The court initially placed Belov under house arrest, but later sent him to a pre-trial detention center.
His attorneys deny the charges claiming that they are unsubstantiated and that he is being persecuted for political reasons.