MOSCOW, June 26 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court has upheld arrest in absentia of former Bashneft CEO Ural Rakhimov who stands accused of embezzling over 210 billion rubles (about $4.3 billion), RAPSI reported from the court on Friday.
Charges were brought against Rakhimov in the summer of 2014. In December, the Basmanny District Court in Moscow issued a warrant for his arrest in absentia.
Bashneft was controlled 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 Sistema gained control of it.
A court in Moscow ruled that Bashneft was privatized in violation of law. The Prosecutor General's Office brought 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.
Rakhimov, who has been living in Austria for the past six years, has reportedly received a residence permit there and hopes to get Austrian citizenship soon.
The Vienna Criminal Court is considering a Russian request to extradite Rakhimov. A judge has scheduled the next hearing for mid-July. Rakhimov has not been detained.
Under the Austrian constitution, Austria does not extradite its citizens.
Lawyer Marat Latypov has said that Rakhimov is not hiding from the law and that he left Russia five years before the criminal case was initiated against him.