MOSCOW, January 14 (RAPSI) – The criminal case against Vladimir Yevtushenkov, board chairman of AFK Sistema holding company, has been closed for the absence of elements of crime in his actions,  according to a statement released on the company's website.

The Investigative Committee of Russia has not commented on this information yet.

Investigators opened in April 2014 a criminal case linked to deals with Bashneft shares in 2002 to 2009.

Bashneft, a midsize oil company, was controlled by the 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. Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema gained control of the company during its privatization in 2009.

Rakhimov and Yevtushenkov were implicated in the sale of Bashneft stock in 2009. Rakhimov was charged in absentia with embezzlement and money laundering and placed on the international wanted list.

Yevtushenkov was placed under house arrest. In December 2014, the businessman was released after he pledged to appear before a court if he is summoned, according to his lawyer Vladimir Kozin.