Sentence in notorious shares fraud case upheld
MOSCOW, June - 7 - RAPSI. The Moscow City Court has validated the sentence of entrepreneur Alexei Kozlov, who was earlier sentenced to five years in prison for committing fraud with shares, the Russian Legal Information Agency reported from the court.
Kozlov's case has been one of the most high-profile in Russia in recent years. He and his wife journalist Olga Romanova claim he was framed.Many legal activists and opposition politicians were outraged with the sentence. The Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights does not rule out that his wife will interfere in the case.
Romanova is actively participating in opposition protests.The Presnensky District Court's sentence was upheld amid loud cries of "disgrace" from the courtroom.
Investigators maintain that Kozlov and his accomplices used fake documents and sham companies to steal 626,000 shares in a company producing imitation leather and films.
According to the defense, the court that passed the initial sentence was biased. It refused all of the defense's appeals to change the judge and did not invite a number of its (defense) witnesses to the trial.
The attorney added that there is no evidence in the case and the prosecution's arguments are based on conjectures.
In his statement Kozlov asked to be released from custody. "All of the transactions with shares were legal, not criminal," he said.
Kozlov added that he most likely paid more than market price for the shares.
"The victims are still suffering from the consequences of his fraudulent actions," their attorney said. "Not only a huge amount of money was stolen from the company, but now it also must also pays the amount of the stolen shares, the legal fees and penalty sanctions."