MOSCOW, February 29 (RAPSI) – Pretrial investigation into the embezzlement of 220 million rubles ($2.9 million) from the Russian nanotechnology corporation Rusnano has been extended until June 11, lawyer Alexander Asnis told RAPSI on Monday.

Charges have been brought against former Rusnano chief Leonid Melamed and ex-corporation managers Andrey Malyshev and Svyatoslav Ponurov.

According to the Investigative Committee, the defendants illegally transferred 220 million rubles ($2.9 million) worth of budget funding, allotted to Rusnano in 2007-2009, to Alemar Co., controlled by Melamed. The suspects pled not guilty.

In 2008, when the deal was being closed, Anatoly Chubais had already replaced Melamed, corporate sources said. They added that Melamed had not inflicted any losses on the company and promised to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.

Earlier, Minister for Open Government Affairs Mikhail Abyzov said the buzz around this case would negatively affect the national business climate and the investigation itself.