Detention order against construction developer in embezzlement probe vacated
MOSCOW, September 25 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Wednesday ordered an investigator’s motion to extend detention of owner of Optima Development construction company Albert Khudoyan charged with 2-billion-ruble embezzlement (over $31 million) to be reconsidered, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.
The court overturned the August 2 decision made by Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court extending the businessman’s detention and set his detention until October 4. The appeals instance thus refused to change the restrictive measure against the defendant by itself.
Khudoyan, whose detention was last time extended until October 14, and his defense petitioned for release on a 10-million-ruble bail (over $155,000) because the first instance’s order inexplicably was not signed by a judge.
In July, the Moscow City Court rescinded house arrest of Khudoyan and placed him in detention upon a motion filed by prosecutors. The court held that the accused can flee abroad despite the fact he gave his foreign passport to investigators.
Business ombudsman Boris Titov said that the court’s arguments that Khudoyan could abscond from investigators had little force.
Khudoyan stands charged with embezzling several land plots from one company. Investigators have estimated damage allegedly caused by the defendant at 2 billion rubles. The businessman pleads not guilty and says the case against him is hostile takeover of his development company.
Optima Development has been engaged in the construction of commercial and residential projects since 2007, the company’s website reads.