In a development that went almost unnoticed last week, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced on July 20 that it had completed its investigation into alleged financial machinations involving the state airline Aeroflot. Those accused in the case–including Nikolai Glushkov, Aeroflot’s former first deputy general director; Aleksandr Krasnenker, its former deputy general director for commerce and advertising; Lidiya Kryzhevskaya, its former chief bookkeeper; and Roman Sheinin, general director of the company Finansovaya Obyedinennaya Korporatsiya (FOK)–are charged with defrauding the company of more than US$40 million. Their scheme, a complex one, used Andava, a Switzerland-based company connected in Russian media reports to the tycoon Boris Berezovsky, which allegedly and illegally received US$252 million from Aeroflot’s hard currency revenues. Glushkov, who was arrested last December and jailed in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, has also been charged with money laundering and, along with Krasnenker and Kryzhevskaya, with illegally holding hard currency abroad.
Another criminal case against Glushkov, involving his alleged plot to escape custody this past April, has been merged with the Aeroflot case. Among those accused of abetting him in his alleged escape attempt are several agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB), who were supposed to be guarding him, and Badri Patarkatsishvili, chairman of the board of directors of the TV-6 television station, which Berezovsky owns (Russian agencies, NTV.ru, July 20). Prosecutors have issued a Russia-wide arrest warrant for Patarkatsishvili, who is said to be currently residing abroad. The combined case will now go to trial. Lawyers for Glushkov and the other defendants have expressed confidence that the case will not hold up in court (Russian agencies, NTV.ru, July 20; Vremya Novostei, July 23).
“DICTATORSHIP OF THE LAW” AGAIN IGNORES BEREZOVSKY.