MOSCOW, April 15 - RAPSI. Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov is only a witness in the high-profile Oboronservice fraud case, because the investigators do not have enough evidence to charge him, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV Channel on Sunday.

He also explained why the Defense Ministry investigation is taking longer than the case against opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who will be tried on April 17 and faces up to 10 years in prison for organizing the theft of over 10,000 cubic meters of timber. "The volume of Navalny's activity can hardly be compared with that of the Defense Ministry," Peskov said.

Serdyukov was dismissed amid a loud corruption scandal in November 2012 to ensure impartiality in the criminal investigations. He has so far been summoned twice for questioning as a witness in embezzlement cases linked to Oboronservice.

Oboronservice comprises companies that are involved in armaments and military vehicle repair and maintenance, construction materials and food production, power facilities operation, cartography and printing goods production, and housing management services for military towns.