Arrested former minister Abyzov still does not understand what he is charged with

Arrested former minister Abyzov still does not understand what he is charged with
Mikhail Abyzov

During the interrogation in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center, the ex-official pleaded innocent.

Former Minister of the Open Government Mikhail Abyzov, who is arrested on charges of swindling and creating a criminal community, pleaded innocent during an interrogation at the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center and expressed his ambiguity about the charges, the former minister’s lawyer Alexander Asnis told TASS.

“During the interrogation, Mikhail said that the essence of the accusation still hasn’t been explained to him, despite his numerous petitions, which makes it impossible for him to understand the accusation and effectively defend himself,” the news agency quotes the lawyer as saying.

According to Asnis, Abyzov is ready to give detailed testimony, if the essence of the charges are clearly explained to him and “properly” expounded in a ruling to prosecute.

Abyzov was detained on March 26 and taken into custody the next day. On May 23, the court extended his custody term until July 25. Abyzov’s property, the cost of which was estimated his lawyer Sergey Drozd at 20,629 billion rubles ($ 328 million), was also arrested. 

According to investigators, Abyzov and his accomplices deceived shareholders of the Siberian Energy Company OJSC and the Regional Electric Networks OJSC (RES) and embezzled 4 billion rubles ($ 63 million) from them and siphoned them off abroad.

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