MOSCOW, February 16 (RAPSI) - The Moscow Commercial Court on Monday ruled in favor of AFK Sistema that sought 70.7 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) in damages from Ural-Invest company over forfeiture of Bashneft stock, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.

Bashneft was controlled by the government of Russia’s Bashkortostan region until 2003, when a major stake was sold to companies affiliated with Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov. The company was privatized in 2009 when Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate AFK Sistema gained control of it.

A court in Moscow ruled that privatization of Bashneft was held in violation of law. The Prosecutor General's Office brought a suit to return 71.6 percent stake in Bashneft back to the government. The Moscow Commercial Court ruled on October 30 in favor of the Prosecutor General's Office.

AFK Sistema filed a lawsuit over forfeiture of Bashneft shares on December 25.

Ural Rakhimov and billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov were implicated in the sale of Bashneft stock in 2009. Rakhimov was charged in absentia with embezzlement and money laundering, put on the international wanted list.