All suspects in Defense property corruption case officially charged
MOSCOW, October 4 (RAPSI) – All suspects in the large-scale embezzlement scandal over the allegedly illegal sale of assets belonging to Russian Ministry of Defense entities have been officially charged, the Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told journalists Friday.
Six people have been officially charged, Markin said without going into details.
It was revealed in October 2012 that a number of criminal cases had been initiated on the sale of property, land and shares belonging to Oboronservis, a holding company under the ministry's control. The losses involved were originally thought to be in excess of 3 billion rubles ($97.3 million). Later it was reported that the damages in the criminal cases have exceeded 6.7 billion rubles ($217.3 million).
Former Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov stepped down amid the scandal to ensure impartiality in the investigation. He has been summoned several times for questioning and is involved merely as a witness in the scandal.
Several Oboronservis employees were arrested late last year. Former head of the Expert Legal Support Center Yekaterina Smetanova and her husband Maxim Zakutailo, formerly in charge of the warehouses of the Moscow Air Force District, are among suspects in the Oboronservis case.
Yevgenia Vasilyeva, former CEO of the Defense Ministry's Property Management Department, was put under house arrest on charges of being involved in some fraud schemes.
One of them is linked to the allegedly illegal leasing of a forest plot in the Bryansk region to a private company for the purpose of mineral resources extraction. The damage caused to the federal budget is reportedly estimated at 725 million rubles (app. $22 million).