MOSCOW, December 18 (RAPSI) – President Vladimir Putin, during his press conference on Thursday, said that all charges against AFK Sistema chairman and one of Russia’s richest people Vladimir Yevtushenkov have been dropped.

Yevtushenkov was placed under house arrest as a part of Bashneft investigation. According to his lawyer, Vladimir Kozin, the mogul was released on Wednesday evening on the condition of honoring investigation summons.

Yevtushenkov was charged with money laundering in oil producer Bashneft’s stock purchase. The investigation believes that the stock was purchased in 2009 at a purposefully lowered price, resulting in a $500 million “sale”.

Putin added that he expects to meet Yevtushenkov at the annual meeting with the captains of the industry and business. Putin said he hopes that AFK Sistema will regain its position on the market, which was severely impaired by Yevtushenkov’s arrest.

Putin said that the investigation failed to provide any evidence that Yevtushenkov was involved in the money laundering scheme in Bashneft privatization process.

AFK Sistema directly owned almost 72% of voting shares of Bashneft, which produces about 350,000 barrels of oil a day, and an overall stake of 86.7%, including 12.6% via Sistema-Invest.

In October, The Moscow Commercial Court ordered AFK Sistema, its subsidiary Sistema-Invest to forfeit Bashneft stock.