MOSCOW, July 10 - RAPSI. Investigators have withdrawn the charges facing Vnesheconombank (VEB) Deputy Chairman Anatoly Ballo for involvement in the theft of $14 million from VEB subsidiary Evraziyskiy, Kommersant daily reported on Tuesday.

The article claims that charges against two other suspects, - Evraziyskiy board member Alexander Lagutin and Chairman of the Board and former Energy Minister Stanislav Svetlitsky, were retracted as well.

The defense seeks to invalidate the initiation of the criminal case, reads Kommersant.

The investigator confirmed that those involved in the case are now considered suspects and no longer defendants.

Ballo and his alleged accomplices were suspected of misappropriating $14 million allocated in 2008 for Evraziyskiy, 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 Swiss bank accounts and charged VEB top manager with fraud. He faced up to 10 years in prison.

Initially, Ballo was brought into the case as a witness, but a separate case was later opened against him.