Navalny supporter charged with fraud released on his own recognizance
MOSCOW, June 11 (RAPSI) - Konstantin Yankauskas, a Moscow municipal legislator who stands charged with large-scale fraud, has been released on his own recognizance, his lawyer Sergei Panchenko told RAPSI on Thursday.
Yankauskas was placed under house arrest on June 11, 2014. Panchenko said earlier that his client was suspected of illegally transferring large funds to opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s campaign during the Moscow mayoral election last year.
According to investigators, Yankauskas and businessmen Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov each transferred 1 million rubles ($18,200) to Navalny’s election account posted an online address “for web users to voluntarily refill their digital wallets, presumably to compensate for the funds that had been transferred to Navalny’s account, and to support his political activity.”
“As a result, over 10 million rubles (over $182,400) was transferred to these digital wallets. Investigators have cause to believe that Yankauskas, Lyaskin and Ashurkov embezzled these funds,” Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said earlier.
Entrepreneurs Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov are also under investigation, searches were conducted earlier at their premises. Searches were also conducted at Yandex.Money offices.
An arrest warrant was issued for Ashurkov who had left Russia and asked for asylum in the UK.
This is not the first time that Navalny’s supporters have been suspected of embezzling funds. Last year, the Interior Ministry announced that Yankauskas had received 5 million rubles ($91,200) via transfers to the Yandex. Money wallet, of which he embezzled 4 million rubles (about $73,000).
The ministry said that Ashurkov embezzled 2.27 million rubles ($41,400) and Lyaskin 790,000 rubles ($14,400).
Navalny ran for Moscow mayor, losing to the incumbent mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, who received 51.37% of the vote. Navalny finished second with 21.24%. The turnout was 32.03% of the electorate.