Supercomputer designer freed from detention, put under house arrest in fraud case
MOSCOW, March 18 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Business Ombudsman Boris Titov welcomes a decision of the Moscow City Court, which has relaxed the preventive measures in a procurement fraud case against AO T-Platform CEO and shareholder Vsevolod Opanasenko, freeing him from detention and putting him under house arrest on Wednesday, the Business Rights Commissioner’s press-service informs RAPSI.
The decision became a new step in implementation of a new practice relating to pre-trial restrictive measures with respect to entrepreneurs, Titov notes. Nevertheless, he observed that there remains much to be done in this respect, and expressed hope that the Supreme Court is to play a more active role in promotion of bail as a preventive measure in cases involving businesspersons.
Moreover, the Business Ombudsman holds to an opinion that Opanasenko committed no crime, as he had no opportunity to influence the results of auctions held in electronic form, performed all his obligations under the governmental contract and the parties put forward no claims.
Earlier, Titov turned to President Vladimir Putin asking his instruction to let him examine the Opanasenko case.
Titov was of an opinion that investigators had wrongly charged the defendant under provisions of criminal law developed with respect to those holding state posts, not businesspersons. Therefore, the Business Ombudsman noted, Opanasenko should have been freed from detention.
The court dismissed a move of investigators seeking to extend the detention of Opanasenko and another defendant in the case Alexander Aleksandrov. The men are to stay under house arrest until June 24, 2020.
Initially, the defendants had been charged with abetment of abuse of office. Later, the charges were altered: Opanasenko and Aleksandrov were accused of fraud.
Investigators believe that Opanasenko intended to take an advantage in making a government contract amounting to over 357 million rubles (about $4.6 million at the current exchange rate) for supply of several thousands of computer workstations to Russia’s Interior Ministry and encouraged Aleksandrov to commit the crime. It is alleged that Aleksandrov knew that the equipment to be supplied to the Ministry did not answer its requirements.
AO T-Platform is a Russian company established in 2002 for designing supercomputers and delivery of a wide range of solutions and services for high-performance computations, as well as manufacturing of computers on the basis of locally produced processors.