MOSCOW, September 8 (RAPSI) – Alexander Potkin (aka Belov), the leader of the nationalist organization Russkiye (Russians), stands charged with inciting hatred or enmity, creating an extremist organization, encouraging extremism and money laundering, his lawyer, Ivan Mironov, told RAPSI. 

“The investigation into Potkin’s case has been completed, he has been charged. We now need to study 100 volumes of case materials,” Mironov said.

Investigators believe that Potkin was a mastermind in a money laundering operation in 2012-2014. He was also suspected of involvement in laundering money that was embezzled from BTA Bank by its former chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov. 

Potkin’s lawyers deny the charges as unsubstantiated and claim that he is being persecuted for political reasons.

On May 28, Moscow’s Khamovnichesky District Court extended the detention of Potkin until October 15. 

Ablyazov, who allegedly defrauded BTA Bank of more than $6 billion, left Kazakhstan for the UK, where he was granted political asylum in 2011.