MOSCOW, November 22 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Friday upheld detention of three defendants in the 4 billion-ruble embezzlement case involving ex-Minister for Open Government affairs Mikhail Abyzov, RAPSI was told in the court’s press service.

Deputy CEO of Ru-Com company Maxim Rusakov, finance director of REMIS firm Galina Fraidenberg and ex-CEO of Regional Electrical Services Sergey Ilichev will stay detained until January 25.

The defendants are charged with organizing a criminal group and embezzlement. Moreover, president of the Novosibirsk Regional Sambo Federation Nikolay Stepanov and board chairman of the First Construction Fund Alexander Pelipasov are also detained in this case.

Investigators insist that 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.

The first criminal case was opened against Abyzov on March 25. The former minister was arrested the next day. On April 3, Moscow’s court placed him in detention. Also, on March 26, the court granted investigators’ motions to detain other alleged members of the criminal group namely Stepanov, Pelipasov, Rusakov and Fraidenberg. Ilichev, who had absconded investigators, was arrested later.

All defendants plead not guilty.