Senator Arashukov's cousin charged with participation in organized criminal community, large-scale fraud - lawyer
MOSCOW. March 6 (Interfax) - Investigations have brought charges against Ruslan Arashukov, general director of the joint-stock company Gazprom Gazoraspredeleniye Astrakhan and the limited liability company Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Astrakhan and a cousin of Rauf Arashukov, arrested senator from Karachayevo-Cherkessia, his lawyer Igor Streshenets told Interfax.
"A charge was filed against Ruslan Mikhailovich [Arashukov] on Friday. It's the same as it was," Streshenets told the agency.
Ruslan Arashukov is charged with participation in an organized criminal community and large-scale fraud. He denies his guilt. The Moscow Basmanny District Court authorized his arrest until late March on January 31.
Raul Arashukov, the father of Senator Rauf Arashukov and adviser to the general director of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz, may be charged in the near future. His lawyer Vladimir Postanyuk said his client is now a suspect.
Raul and Rauf Arashukov were detained on January 30. Courts later sanctioned their pretrial arrest at least until the end of March.
Rauf Arashukov has been charged with affiliation with an organized criminal group, the organization of two murders by previous concert for personal gain, and putting pressure on a witness.
Raul Arashukov is reportedly suspected of the organization of a criminal group and large-scale fraud.
The case story holds it that Rauf Arashukov was a member of a criminal group organized by his father, Raul. According to the case files, the latter created the criminal group in order to steal more than 30 billion rubles' worth of natural gas from Gazprom over several years.
Investigators also believe that the senator may have been involved in the murder of Aslan Zhukov, the deputy chairman of the youth movement Adyge-Khase in Karachayevo-Cherkessia, the murder of Fral Shebzukhov, an advisor to Karachayevo-Cherkessia's president, and the beating of a witness to Zhukov's murder.
Rauf and Raul Arashukov have denied any wrongdoing. The senator described the prosecution as "a political order."
The people arrested in connection with the Arashukovs case, besides their relative Ruslan, are Nikolai Romanov, deputy general director of Gazprom Gazoraspredeleniye Stavropol, Guzer Khashukayev, director of a branch of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Stavropol, Igor Travinov, general director of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Stavropol, Alan Kyatov, executive director of Yessentukigorgaz and director of the branch of Gazprom Stavropol in Yessentuki, Zamir Borsov, deputy general director of Gazprom Gazoraspredeleniye Stavropol, and Irina Valeshnaya, acting director of the branch of Gazprom Gazoraspredeleniye Stavropol in the Mineralovodsky district. They all are charged with participation in an organized criminal community and fraud.
The investigators allege that "the accomplices organized the signing of contracts for the supply to gas industry enterprise of the Northern Caucasus Federal District of larger amounts of gas than was needed for consumers' needs; after that, they stole the gas, selling it to companies and private individuals for cash." The investigators believe the members of the organized criminal community "created conditions for theft of gas supplied to nonexistent consumers."