Putin: Defense property fraud scandal investigation to reach conclusion
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MOSCOW, April 25 (RAPSI) - During a Q&A session this Thursday, President Vladimir Putin assured the audience that the Oboronservice criminal case will reach a conclusion. "I would like to emphasize that the cases resumed soon after I returned to the post of commander-in-chief. Obviously, there were no obstacles to opening these cases. In fact, the law enforcement agencies were informed about these issues," Putin said.
He stressed that the investigation is being carried out fairly and without prejudice and will be complete.
"The court will give a fair ruling as to who is guilty and who is innocent. If there are guilty parties, the court will clearly state their charges and arrive at a verdict," Putin said.
The company made headlines last year for allegedly being involved in the embezzlement of billions of rubles from the Defense Ministry.
Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was dismissed amid a loud corruption scandal ensued in November 2012 to ensure the impartiality of the criminal investigation.
He has so far been summoned twice for questioning as a witness in embezzlement cases linked to Oboronservice.
Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, the former head of the ministry's Property Management Department, is facing fraud charges and is presently under house arrest.
Other defendants in the case are Yekaterina Smetanova, the former CEO of the Expert legal support center, who was released on a pledge not to leave town, and her husband Maxim Zakutailo, the former CEO of an Air Force depot, who has been placed in detention.
Oboronservice comprises companies that are involved in armaments and military vehicle repair and maintenance, construction materials and food production, power facilities operation, cartography and printing goods production, and housing management services for military towns.