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8 May, 2024 17:36

Russian deputy defense minister charged over $11 million bribe – lawyer

Timur Ivanov stands accused of receiving kickbacks from military subcontractors
Russian deputy defense minister charged over $11 million bribe – lawyer

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal lodged by the legal team of Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov, who is being held on bribery charges, his lawyer has stated. The court has refused to release him on house arrest, instead keeping him in pre-trial detention.

Investigators argued that Ivanov could try to escape the country, potentially heading for the EU, his lawyer, Murad Musayev, told RIA Novosti. Musayev dismissed the risk, pointing out that the official is on various Western sanctions lists, and adding that he would challenge the ruling at a court of cassation.

Ivanov is accused of receiving services from military construction contractors estimated at nearly 1 billion rubles (around $10.8 million), Musayev revealed. “Ivanov’s contractors had allegedly built facilities for him for free, which is not true,” the lawyer stated.

The court also dismissed an appeal made by a close associate of Ivanov, Sergey Borodin, who is facing the same charges and is accused of involvement in the alleged corruption scheme. Borodin was arrested shortly after the deputy defense minister was taken into custody.

Ivanov was arrested on April 23, hours after taking part in an extended ministerial meeting led by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. The official has been accused of taking bribes on a large scale, with the offence carrying a penalty of up to 15 years behind bars. Ivanov has been temporarily suspended from his post, according to Musayev.

Ivanov was previously involved in the country’s energy and construction sectors as a public official. Prior to assuming his current post in 2016, in which he has overseen military construction projects, he headed building contractor Oboronstroy, and worked at several high-profile state-owned energy and construction companies.