BELGOROD, January 10 (RAPSI) – A lawyer from the southwestern Russian city of Belgorod, who is accused of a 35 million ruble ($1 mln) fraud, fled the courthouse during trial, and was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison, the Russian Investigative Committee reports on Friday.

Investigators allege that in 2009, attorney Valery Uretiy provided legal assistance to the employees of a company while it was under a criminal investigation. After receiving the payment for his services, Uretiy allegedly forged a false contract which the company for 35 million rubles ($1 mln).

Later he is alleged to have persuaded the head of the Belgorod Region Bar Association to initiate an arbitration procedure against the company over the alleged debt for the services provided.  Uretiy was a third party in the hearings and presented the forged contract as evidence in court. The expert evaluation later revealed that the document was fake. The lawsuit was rejected by the court and a criminal case was initiated against the attorney.

During the hearing, before closing statements, Uretiy escaped from justice and his present location is unknown. He was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison for fraud and a fine of 700,000 rubles.