13 Sep 2017 12:12

Court declines to hear recording of Sechin-Ulyukayev call

MOSCOW. Sept 13 (Interfax) - Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky District Court has declined to listen to an audio recording of the phone call between Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and former Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev.

"To dismiss the lawyers' request, as the court sees no need to listen to this recording and, besides, evidence is now being presented by the prosecutors," the judge said.

The lawyers asked the court to listen to the audio recording after a witness, Ulyukayev's former secretary Irina Dyutina, mentioned Sechin's call to the former minister. The defense said the witness should listen to the call so that she could recall every detail and answer lawyers' questions.

The prosecutors objected. "The prosecutors are perplexed by this request, as the defense is breaching the evidence exhibiting procedure. They cannot make any requests as long as the prosecutors are exhibiting evidence at their own discretion, and we did not plan to listen to this recording. What is more, none of those present denies that the call has actually taken place. The witness has given full testimony and indicated her meager role in the call," they said.

Rosneft security service manager Vadim Derevyakin was called as the next witness. He told the court about the meeting between the Rosneft CEO, the economic development minister, and the VTB bank chief at the BRICS summit in Goa in fall 2016 and said they played billiards.

The court will continue the hearing at 10 a.m. Moscow time on September 18.