MOSCOW, November 24 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by nationalist Alexander Belov (Potkin), accused of laundering money embezzled from BTA Bank, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
The Tverskoy District Court of Moscow initially placed Belov under house arrest, but later sent him in pre-trial detention until November 30. Investigators filed a motion to detain Belov alleging that he could flee Russia or try to destroy evidence.
Attorneys asked the court to release Belov on 5-million rubles bail (over $109,000).
Investigators believe that Belov (Potkin) was involved in laundering money embezzled from BTA Bank by its former chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov. Ablyazov who allegedly defrauded BTA Bank for more that $6 billion left Kazakhstan for the UK where he was granted political asylum in 2011.
The Kazakh government acquired in 2009 a stake in defaulted BTA Bank, which came under the control of its sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna.
Ablyazov was on the run for more than a year after he had been sentenced by a London court to 22 months in jail for contempt.
Ablyazov was arrested in July 2013 in France. Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine are seeking his extradition. Last January a court in Aix-en-Provence gave priority to the application filed by Russia where a criminal case was opened against banker. However, in April a French appeals court blocked the extradition of Ablyazov due to procedural error.