Aide to ex-defense minister Yevgenia Vasilyeva gets 5 years in prison
Moscow, May 7 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Presnensky District Court sentenced Yevgenia Vasilyeva, an aide to former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov, to five years in prison, RAPSI reported on Friday from the courtroom.
Her defense team plans to appeal the sentence. “Frankly, I am shocked. We are going to file an appeal,” Vasilyeva’s lawyer, Hasan-Ali Borokov, told journalists.
Four accomplices of Vasilyeva, former head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Property Relations Department, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 36 to 51 months.
The court also granted civil claims which had been filed against Vasilyeva and her accomplices seeking 215 million rubles ($4.2 million) in damages.
Vasilyeva was convicted on 6 criminal counts of 12. The court found her guilty of fraud, money laundering, and exceeding and abusing her authority. Moreover, Vasilyeva and her accomplices were convicted of conspiracy to commit the crimes and deceive Serdyukov.
Vasilyeva who has spent 2.5 years under house arrest was earlier acquitted of some of the charges brought against her.
Specifically, she was initially accused of embezzlement when property in central Moscow and Krasnodarsky Territory owned by the Defense Ministry was sold. The case was dismissed due to lack of evidence.
As a result, damage estimated at 3 billion ($59.6 million) was reduced six times to 550 million rubles ($10.9 million).
Defense Ministry's Property Relations Department and Oboronservis holding became involved in 2012 in a corruption scandal that led to the resignation of Serdyukov and Vasilyeva.
Serdyukov was charged with negligence. Investigators claimed that he caused damage to the state estimated at 56 million rubles ($1.6 million) by ordering soldiers to build a private road to a Caspian Sea resort owned by his brother-in-law.
However, Russian mass media reported in late December 2013 that a criminal probe into Serdyukov was wrapped up. Serdyukov's lawyer Genrikh Padva said later that his client was pardoned under an amnesty.