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  Tuesday, March 2, 2021
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Moscow's Meshchansky district court has left the Menatep financial group's head Platon Lebedev in custody
Moscow's Meshchansky district court has left the Menatep financial group's head Platon Lebedev in custody, thus defying the petition by Lebedev's lawyers to change the defendant's measure to secure his appearance, reports one of his lawyers, Helena Liptser. Lebedev is indicted in accordance with seven articles of the Russian Criminal Code, including tax evasion and fraud. Preliminary hearings on his case are underway. The defence plans to appeal for extending the time allotted to the defendant for familiarising himself with the materials in this criminal case making up 163 volumes, says Lebedev's other lawyer who has preferred to remain unidentified. "The defence is likely to apply for uniting Platon Lebedev's case with that of Mikhail Khodorkovsky since they both are charged with the same offences," said the lawyer. The investigators charge that Platon Lebedev, when working as president of the Menatep bank and being a member of the board of directors of the Menatep financial association and the Russian-Swiss joint venture "Russian Trust and Trade" joined in Moscow in 1994 an organised group, founded and run by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, chairman of the board of directors of the Menatep Bank, the Menatep financial association and the Russian-Swiss joint venture "Russian Trust and Trade", with the purpose of misappropriating shares of Russian enterprises as privatisation was underway, and shared with Khodorkovsky the guidance of this group in the process of committing the crime. The investigation holds that in the summer of 1998 Lebedev masterminded the swindling of 20 percent of Apatit company stock worth $283 million and that the damage inflicted by Khodorkovsky's and Lebedev's activities amounts to more than $1 billion. Charges against Lebedev in accordance with seven articles of the Russia Criminal Code include fraud and heavy monetary misappropriation
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