MOSCOW, June 3 (RAPSI) - The Moscow City Court on Friday extended the house arrest of businessman Levon Airapetyan, a defendant in the Bashneft embezzlement case, until September 15, his lawyer Ruben Markaryan told RAPSI on Friday.

The defense asked to release Airapetyan on bail.

Airapetyan stands charged with involvement in an embezzlement case under which Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan Murtaza 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, Airapetyan was placed under house arrest. His defense attorney asked the court to release him, citing health problems.