Accused of $3.9m embezzlement Rosnano former head released

Accused of $3.9m embezzlement Rosnano former head released
Leonid Melamed

Leonid Melamed and former financial director of the state corporation Svyatoslav Ponurov were released from custody, as their detention deadlines expired.⁠

Ex-head of the state corporation Rosnano Leonid Melamed was released from house arrest; former financial director of the company Svyatoslav Ponurov was released from the pre-trial detention center. Lawyers of the accused of $3.9m embezzlement clarified that their clients were released on the evening of May 10. The defense noted that Melamed and Ponurov had escaped arrest, as their detention deadlines had expired.

In addition, a source familiar with the situation told TASS that the Prosecutor General's Office did not approve the indictment in the criminal case and returned it to the investigator to eliminate violations. Lawyer of the Rosnano ex-head Ruslan Kozhura noted that he did not have "information on what procedural grounds the General Prosecutor's Office adopted such a decision". The defense of the accused suggested that the investigation into the case would continue.

To recall, Leonid Melamed was under house arrest since July 2015 after instituting criminal proceedings against top managers of Rosnano on charges of Misappropriation or Embezzlement (Article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The case was initiated after the financial indicators of Rosnano were verified by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation. According to the materials of the case, being the head of the state corporation, Melamed made contracts on behalf of the company with the investment and financial corporation Alemar, which partially belongs to him. In accordance with the terms of the contract, Alemar was to render consultations to Rosnano for the amount of 227 million rubles ($3.9m), which the company received from the state budget. According to the investigation, within six months the participants of the criminal scheme siphoned off this money. In addition to Leonid Melamed and Svyatoslav Ponurov, defendants in the case of embezzlement of budgetary funds are Yuri Udaltsov, the deputy chairman of the Rosnano board, former Economic Minister of Russia Yakov Urinson and former deputy chairman of the state-owned company Andrey Malyshev.

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