MOSCOW, June 7 - RAPSI. The Zamoskvoretsky District Court in Moscow will review the criminal case against former YUKOS executive Alexei Spirichev for tax evasion on June 15, his attorney Sergei Kupreichenko told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Thursday.
As the defendant is abroad, the trial will be held in absentia.
The attorney told RAPSI earlier that Spirichev denies the charges. He added that he does not have information about the defendant's whereabouts as he contacted him by phone.
The Prosecutor General's Office attempted to secure Spirichevs extradition while he was in Prague, but the Czech court turned down the extradition request.
Investigators maintain that Spirichev and his accomplices under the guidance of YUKOS chiefs Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev falsified documents for sham companies in 1998-2001. Using the documents, the companies received tax benefits from the local administration. As a result, Muskron evaded taxes amounting to 5.4 billion rubles ($165 million) and Business-Oil underpaid 3.7 billion rubles ($113 million) in taxes.
The Prosecutor General's Office has also reported that in 2000 Spirichev issued documents indicating that Business-Oil allegedly paid excess taxes, although he knew it was untrue. Misled by the documents, the Federal Treasury refunded Business-Oil 44 million rubles ($1.3 million) on December 27, 2000. The funds were reportedly transferred to an account controlled by Lebedev, Khodorkovsky and other YUKOS group members.
Spirichev escaped justice and was placed on the international wanted list in 2004. The court has issued an arrest warrant for him in absentia.
Spirichev was mentioned when Khodorkovsky's first case was handled by the Meschansky District Court.
Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and tax evasion in 2005. In late 2010, a Moscow district court sentenced them to 14 years in jail for oil theft and money laundering. They were expected to be released in 2017, considering the term they had already served for their convictions from the first trial.
However, the Moscow City Court cut their sentences by one year on May 24, 2011.
Spirichev ran a number of YUKOS-controlled companies.