Minister detained unlawfully —Ulyukaev's lawyer
The defense of the ex-Minister of Economic Development says the FSB arrested him without any procedural status.
Defense attorney Timofey Gridnev, who represents the interests of former Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev, said that his client had been detained unlawfully. This was stated today at the Moscow City Court, where the appeal for the pre-trial detention measure in the form of house arrest was considered.
Gridnev claimed that the Minister's car was blocked on the evening of November 14 at the exit of Rosneft office by FSB members. After that, investigators did not sent Ulyukaev to the bodies of inquiry or investigation, but instead held him for 6 hours (until 23.30 local time) without naming the reasons for detention. The minister was not allowed to use a mobile phone or go anywhere. The lawyer added that at the moment a criminal case was not yet initiated, the minister was neither a suspect nor an accused, which means he had no procedural status.
"The FSB operatives, who detained Ulyukaev, did not have any authority to do so. That is why they registered Ulyukaev's arrest as protocol for the inspection of the scene, which is a flagrant violation of the law on criminal procedure," Gridnev said.
In addition, the protection of the ex-official has asked the court to allow the suspect to give a single interview with the media to publicly announce his position.
"Our client considers it necessary to inform the public about his point of view," the defender said. Gridnev suggested the court should choose the media and the duration of the interview.
In response to the request of the defense, investigator Roman Nesterov noted that first Ulyukaev should state his position at interrogation, and then speak to the press.
Ultimately, the Moscow City Court dismissed the request of the defense. In addition, the court upheld the preventive measure to former Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev. The official will remain under house arrest until January 15.
As previously reported by the CrimeRussia, Alexey Ulyukaev was detained on the night of November 15. The investigation alleges that the official was caught red-handed while taking a bribe of $ 2 million for the protection in the sale of Bashneft shares to Rosneft. The suspect denies taking a bribe.
“People see them walking in the market. But we do not approach them and do not make a selfie with them. We do not care who they are,” said a representative of the city authorities about Putin’s relatives.