MOSCOW, May 28 - RAPSI. The Moscow City Court has upheld the Tverskoy District Court's decision not to drop the criminal case against Foreign Economic Bank (VEB) Deputy Chairman Anatoly Ballo, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/ on Monday.

Ballo's counsel Takhir Samakayev sought to quash the investigator's March 1 order to separate the alleged theft of $15 million from Evraziyskiy by unidentified individuals as special proceedings.

Ballo was involved in the case as a witness, but the proceedings against him were separated.

The lawyer deems it unlawful and groundless as "under the law a case may only be separated if it is opened against an individual suspected or accused of a crime."

The "Ballo case" is an express violation of the law, Samakayev said. His client has not been called in for interrogations and he continues working in the bank.

Investigators hold that Ballo and his accomplices stole funds on September 24, 2008 as part of the funds allocated for Evraziyskiy to acquire Yugvodokanal, the ministry reported on March 12.

Evraziyskiy is a water supply operator in southern Russia. VEB has been Evraziyskiy's major shareholder since 2006. Investigators found that the stolen funds were deposited into offshore companies' Swiss bank accounts and charged Ballo with fraud. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Samakayev maintains that there are no sufficient grounds for opening the case.

The investigators statements in his resolution and the accusations are unfounded, he stressed.