MOSCOW, January 26 - RAPSI. A Moscow district court has refused on Thursday to release businessman Viktor Baturin on $978,000 bail and extended his arrest on fraud charges until March 28, the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) reports from the courtroom.
The judge has satisfied the investigators' request and turned down the defense's argument that the measure of restriction against Baturin should be more lenient, declaring it unfounded.
Baturin was detained at Inteco's office on November 28 after arriving to cash a counterfeit 10.8 million ruble ($352,170) promissory note. Investigators charged Baturin with attempted fraud the next day and sent the case to court.
The judge noted in her ruling that the circumstances taken into account by the court while issuing the arrest warrant for Baturin have not changed. In the court's view, he is a flight risk and he may also put pressure on witnesses while at large.
Baturin called the ruling "predictable" and his attorney announced his intent to appeal the decision.
Baturin has not admitted to the crime. He said he was arrested for producing a fake promissory note, but the note has already been paid.
Baturin is the elder brother of business woman Yelena Baturina, the wife former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Forbes ranked her in 2010 the worlds third richest woman with a $2.9 billion fortune. Viktor and Yelena are the co-founders of the Inteco investment and construction corporation.