MOSCOW, May 25 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court upheld a lower court decision to keep businessman Levon Airapetyan, a suspect in the Bashneft embezzlement case, under house arrest until July 28, RAPSI reported from the courtroom on Monday.

Airapetyan has asked the court to release him on his own recognizance for health reasons.

The prosecution argued at the hearing that the suspect had violated the house arrest conditions by meeting with an acquaintance who was to testify in his case. Prosecutors said they included this information in the case and that the Federal Penal Service could ask the court to place Airapetyan in detention.

Airapetyan stands charged with involvement in an embezzlement case under which Ural Rakhimov sold Bashneft, a midsized oil company he headed for three years, to the oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema in 2009 at a huge “discount” of $500 million.

The Prosecutor General’s Office filed a suit to return a 71.6 percent stake in Bashneft to the government. The Moscow Commercial Court ruled on October 30, 2014, in favor of the Prosecutor General's Office.

Airapetyan was also charged with embezzling $700,000 from Igor Izmestyev, a former representative of Bashkortostan in the upper house of parliament who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing terrorist attacks and murders in 2010.

Airapetyan holds dual citizenship, has assets abroad and was until recently living in Monaco. Prosecutors presented this information as grounds for arrest. In early October 2014, Hayrapetyan was placed under house arrest. His defense attorney asked the court to release him, citing health problems.