MOSCOW, May 27 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Basmanny District Court on Wednesday denied a 1-billion-ruble bail ($15.5 million) to ex-Russian Minister for Open Government affairs Mikhail Abyzov, charged with 4-billion-ruble ($62 million) embezzlement and organizing a gang, and put him in detention until May 25, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.

During the hearing Abyzov said that he is currently unemployed, lives in Moscow and has three minor children and aged mother. He pleaded not guilty and asked the court not to detain him.

Investigators in turn stated that the defendant had unidentified accomplices, property abroad, several foreign passports and he could therefore flee or put pressure on victims in the case if released.

According to investigators, between April 2011 and November 2014, Abyzov, the owner of several offshore companies, organized and headed a criminal group. The defendant along with his accomplices allegedly embezzled 4 billion rubles from Novosibirsk Region’s Siberian Energy Company and Regional Electrical Services generation and transmission corporations and transferred the money abroad.

A criminal case was opened against Abyzov on March 25. The former minister was arrested the next day.

Also, on March 26, the court considered investigators’ motions to detain other alleged members of the criminal group including president of the Novosibirsk Regional Sambo Federation Nikolay Stepanov, board chairman of the First Construction Fund Alexander Pelipasov, deputy CEO of Ru-Com company Maxim Rusakov and finance director of REMIS firm Galina Fraidenberg. According to the Investigative Committee, one more defendant Sergey Ilichev absconded investigators.