Russian authorities to pursue case against aide to ex-defense minister Serdyukov
MOSCOW, April 17 (RAPSI) - A suit seeking 2.2 billion rubles (over $43 million) in damages from Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, an aide to former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov, has not been dropped, RIA Novosti reported on Friday, citing Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin.
The statement followed reports in Russian mass media earlier in the day that the suit had been dropped.
Markin said it was the last attempt to influence the public opinion and judges who are expected to hand down a judgement in a criminal case linked to the Defense Ministry soon.
In 2012, the Defense Ministry’s Department of Property Relations and Oboronservis company became involved in a corruption scandal that led to the resignation of Serdyukov and Vasilyeva.
Vasilyeva was charged on 12 counts of illegal sales of property, land and shares belonging to Oboronservis subsidiaries. Oboronservis is a company that consists of service companies involved in armaments and military vehicle repair and maintenance, construction materials and food production, power facility management, cartography and printing goods production, and housing services for military towns.
In March 2013, a Moscow court issued a warrant to seize the property owned by Vasilyeva, which included one apartment in Moscow, two apartments in St. Petersburg and some 600 square meters of commercial property in downtown Moscow.
She is currently under house arrest, having been ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet.
Serdyukov and several other high-ranking ministry officials were dismissed amid the corruption scandal that ensued in November 2012 to ensure an impartial investigation.
In December 2013, Serdyukov was charged with neglect of duty after investigators estimated damages to the state at 56 million rubles ($1.1 million).
According to the indictment, Serdyukov did not know about the fraud and embezzlement that were allegedly made possible due to his confidential relations with Vasilyeva. Serdyukov was pardoned in March on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the constitution.