23 May 2019 18:11

Investigators not filing drugs charges against Abyzov - lawyer

MOSCOW. May 23 (Interfax) - Former minister for Open Government affairs Mikhail Abyzov, who was arrested on charges of setting up a criminal group and fraud, was not using an apartment where drugs were found, the former official's lawyer Alexander Asnis said.

"It is an apartment in 5 Obydensky Pereulok. Mikhail Anatolyevich did not own it; it is adjacent to another apartment, which did belong to him. He leased it to close off access via balconies to the apartment belonging to him. He has never lived in that apartment, has never been there, and has not used it for his personal purposes," Asnis told reporters.

"The apartment was undergoing renovations and it is not known how that small amount of drugs got there. The investigators are not filing any charges against Abyzov regarding these drugs," the lawyer said.

"The drugs were found and a chemical test was carried out. Because the drugs were not in such quantities as to give grounds for a criminal inquiry, the Investigative Committee sent the material to the police to resolve the question of bringing administrative charges against an unidentified person. This has nothing to do with Abyzov," Asnis said.

A search of "Abyzov's apartment" led to the discovery of what tests later showed was a narcotic drug, the investigator told Basmanny District Court at an arrest extension hearing in Moscow earlier on Thursday.

Abyzov is charged with setting up an organized crime group and massive fraud.