MOSCOW, December 14 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court has refused to lift seizure of property belonging to prominent Armenian businessman Levon Airapetyan, who was sentenced to four years in prison for embezzlement of $700,000, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.
The court has dismissed an appeal filed by Airapetyan’s lawyer. Airapetyan’s apartment and bank accounts, estimating $300,000-400,000 are to stay under arrest.
In April, Airapetyan was found guilty of stealing $700,000 from the mother of former Bashkortostan senator Igor Izmestyev sentenced to life for terrorism. In addition to the prison sentence Airapetyan was ordered to pay the victim 20.8 million rubles (about $320,000).
According to investigators, the businessman has misled the woman by promising a reduced sentence for her son. In practice, he could not influence the judgment.
The businessman has pleaded not guilty. According to his lawyer, the case has been framed up.
Airapetyan also 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.
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.