MOSCOW, July 29 (RAPSI) – Alexander Gitelson, former owner of the VEFK bank, who was sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling funds from the Leningrad Region government, got extra two years and two months in prison, Kommersant newspaper reported on Wednesday.
In March 2015, Gitelson was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling over 2 billion rubles (about $39 million) in public funds from Inkasbank. A court in St. Petersburg also fined the banker 500,000 rubles (about $10,000).
In April 2011, Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court sentenced Gitelson in absentia to five years in prison and a 1 million ruble ($20,300) fine for embezzling 495 million rubles ($10 million) from his acquaintance, MP Adnan Muzykayev.
The Prosecutor General’s Office has sent a letter to the prison where Gitelson is serving his sentence for embezzling funds from the Leningrad Region government to inform prison authorities that the Austrian Ministry of Justice has approved the sentence in the Muzykayev embezzlement case, according to Kommersant.
Having considered the prison’s request and the letter from the Prosecutor General’s Office, a court in St. Petersburg ruled to issue one decision for both cases, increasing Gitelson’s sentence to five years and two months.
The newspaper writes that Gitelson, who fled Russia in 2010, was suspected of involvement in several cases, but was placed on Interpol’s wanted list on charges of embezzlement from the Leningrad Region government. Gitelson was arrested in Austria in April 2013 and extradited to Russia in December.
Under international law and a Russian-Austrian agreement on legal assistance, other charges can be only brought against Gitelson with the approval of Austria.
Russian investigators have sent a request to Austria seeking approval to bring other charges against the former banker. Kommersant writes that possible charges involve a $2 million bribe which Gitelson allegedly gave to Natalya Grishkevich, former head of a Pension Fund’s regional branch who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, and the embezzlement of nearly 21 billion rubles (about $350mln) from EEFC-Ural Bank.