MOSCOW, March 15 (RAPSI) – Defense lawyers have appealed a court order to arrest communist lawmaker Denis Voronenkov, who stands charged with large scale fraud, in absentia, the Basmanny District Court’s spokesperson Yunona Tsareva told RAPSI on Wednesday.
Investigators claim that the ex-lawmaker was involved in a raid aimed at seizing a two-story building in central Moscow in 2011 owned by Otari Kobakhidze, founder of the company TOMA. The allegations were reportedly based on the testimony of a group of people who had been convicted and sentenced in the case.
After Kobakhidze delegated full control of the company to its CEO Marina Vladimirskaya, she took advantage of the situation. She reportedly decided with her acquaintance, a retired police officer, Vyacheslav Polozkov, to alter the registration documents and sell the building valued at 127 million rubles ($2.1 million). Several other persons including Voronenkov were implicated in the case, according to investigators.
The building was sold for 20 million rubles ($339,200). Moreover, customer Vitaly Kachur, the owner of Chance company, illegally paid Voronenkov $1.2 million, the Investigative Committee’s statement reads.
Kobakhidze turned to court and managed to regain control of the company and the building. Those involved in the raid pleaded guilty, agreed to cooperate with investigators and testified against Voronenkov.
Voronenkov claimed that the criminal prosecution of him had been politically motivated.
According to media reports, Voronenkov fled to Ukraine with his wife several months ago, and received the Ukrainian citizenship.