MOSCOW, April 24 (RAPSI) – Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, an aide to former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov, asked Moscow's Presnensky District Court to acquit her in a 3 billion rubles ($58 million) embezzlement case, RAPSI reported from the courtroom on Friday.
Prosecutor Vera Pashkovskaya earlier requested that Vasilyeva be given an eight-year suspended sentence, fined 1 million rubles ($19,380), and be prohibited from holding a government office. She also asked the court to give Vasilyeva’s suspected accomplices suspended sentences ranging from four to eight years.
The prosecutor also asked the court to require the suspects to compensate the aggrieved persons about 800 million rubles ($15.5 million), or the value of Vasilyeva’s seized property, including bank accounts, jewelry and apartments. One of the flats is a luxury 13-room apartment in central Moscow, where she has lived under house arrest since November 2012.
In 2012, the Defense Ministry’s Department of Property Relations and the company Oboronservis became involved in a corruption scandal that led to the resignation of Serdyukov and Vasilyeva.
Vasilyeva was charged with 12 counts of illegal sales of property, land and shares belonging to Oboronservis subsidiaries. Oboronservis is a group of service companies involved in armaments and military vehicle repair and maintenance, construction materials and food production, power facility management, cartography and printing goods production, and housing services for military towns.
In March 2013, a Moscow court issued a warrant to seize the property owned by Vasilyeva, which included one apartment in Moscow, two apartments in St. Petersburg and some 600 square meters of commercial property in downtown Moscow.
Serdyukov and several other high-ranking ministry officials were dismissed amid the corruption scandal that ensued in November 2012 to ensure an impartial investigation.
In December 2013, Serdyukov was charged with neglect of duty after investigators estimated damages to the state at 56 million rubles ($1.1 million).
According to the indictment, Serdyukov did not know about the fraud and embezzlement that were allegedly made possible due to his confidential relations with Vasilyeva. Serdyukov was pardoned in March on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the constitution.