MOSCOW, March 6 (RAPSI) – When asked about news reports that charges had been dropped against former Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, his attorneys refused to confirm or deny the issue to RAPSI.

“I cannot comment on that, or confirm or deny. I was told today that an amnesty decision was signed on February 21, but I was abroad that day,” attorney Konstantin Rivkin told RAPSI.

“I do not know anything about that, I’ll abstain from commenting,” attorney Genrikh Padva added.

Earlier, several media outlets reported that the ex-minister, who has been implicated in a major Defense contracting fraud case, was relieved of the charges pending against him to a broad amnesty extended in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution., after he himself made the request. His attorneys did not confirm that any request of that kind was made.

Anatoly Serdyukov lost his position as Defense Minister in November as an investigation unfolded into a suspected 13 billion rubles ($363 million) fraud case involving alleged irregularities in the sale of ministry real estate.

In December, Serdyukov was charged with negligence after investigators claimed he had cost the state 56 million rubles’ ($1.6 million) worth of damage by ordering soldiers to build a private road to a Caspian Sea holiday resort owned by his brother-in-law.