MOSCOW, April 11 (RAPSI) - A criminal case against Yekaterina Smetanova, who stands accused of embezzlement at the Defense Ministry’s subsidiary Oboronservis and commercial bribery, has been again referred to Moscow’s Presnensky District Court, the court’s spokesperson Nina Yurkova told RAPSI on Monday.
In February, the case was returned to prosecutors for correction of defects committed during the inquiry.
The trial is expected to be held behind closed doors because Smetanova has been included in the witness protection program.
Smetanova has pleaded guilty to the crimes of which she has been accused, and provided detailed and consistent testimony exposing the other individuals involved in the crime. She has been released under restriction notice. Case against her was singled out and considered separately.
The corruption scandal broke out at the Defense Ministry in 2012 and led to the resignation of then Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Yevgeniya Vasilyeva.
Serdyukov was charged with negligence. Investigators claimed that his actions or inactions resulted in damages to the state estimated at 56 million rubles (about $830,000) by ordering army personnel to build a private road to a Caspian Sea resort owned by his brother-in-law.
However, the Russian media reported in late December 2013 that the criminal probe into Serdyukov’s actions was closed. Serdyukov's lawyer Genrikh Padva said later that his client was pardoned under an amnesty program.
On May 8, 2015 the Presnensky District Court of Moscow sentenced Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, an aide to Serdyukov, to five years in prison for her involvement in corruption cases at the Defense Ministry.
In late August, a court in the Vladimir Region released Vasilyeva on parole.