MOSCOW, November 13 (RAPSI) - Rosneft oil company’s CEO Igor Sechin on Monday did not appear before court for questioning as a witness in the bribery case against Russia’s ex-economy minister Alexey Ulyukayev, RAPSI reported from Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky District Court.
A motion for interrogation of Sechin has been lodged by prosecution.
On September 5, Sechin signed a statement forwarded to the Federal Security Service FSB chief claiming that Ulyukayev tried to extort $2 million. According to Sechin, Ulyukayev demanded money for allowing Rosneft to privatize Bashneft oil company. On the same day, a high-ranking official of the Corporate Governance Department in the Economy Ministry Yulia Moskvitina testified that Ulyukayev personally initiated removal of Rosneft from a list of potential privatizers of Bashneft.
Ulyukayev was arrested while receiving an alleged bribe in mid-November 2016. According to the Investigative Committee, the former minister threatened to create obtrusions for Rosneft with the use of his position. On November 15, 2016, the ex-minister was put under house arrest. Later in the evening, President Vladimir Putin relieved Ulyukayev of his post because of loss of trust.
Ulyukayev pleaded not guilty and stated that he believed the case was fabricated. The defendant noted that there was a provocation, orchestrated by the Federal Security Service (FSB) and that there was no sound evidence in the case, aside from a testimony provided by Sechin.
The court has seized 15 property items and over 564 million rubles ($9.5 million) belonging to Ulyukayev as part of the case.