Alleged mafia don released

Alleged organized crime lord, Semyon Mogilevich, has been released by a Russian court after promising not to flee the country.

Mogilevich and his business partner, Vladimir Nekrasov, have spent 18 months in custody while on trial for tax evasion linked to the cosmetics chain Arbat Prestige.

"Vladimir Nekrasov and Sergei Shnaider [Semyon Mogilevich] have been released on the undertaking not to flee, as the 12-month period – the maximum term of custody – has expired," Irina Dudukina of the Investigative Committee department, was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

A source in the Russian Interior Ministry told Interfax news agency that the investigation into the case has been completed.

"The criminal case materials and the indictment will be forwarded to the prosecutors in the near future," he said.

Mogilevich's lawyers insist he has no links to the perfume outlets.

The Russian has also been wanted by the FBI since 2003 in connection with an Eastern European crime syndicate, but Moscow has refused an extradition request from the US.