Serdyukov questioned over allegedly illegal road project

Former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov was interviewed at Russia's Investigative Committee on Thursday about the suspected illegal use of military labor to lay a road leading to a commercial facility owned by his brother-in-law, said a Moscow source familiar with the matter.

The suspected instance of abuse will be the reason for a criminal case to be opened "today or tomorrow," the source told Interfax after Serdyukov was quizzed at the Committee's military department.

The source said it was unlikely that at this point Serdyukov or anyone else would be charged as part of the planned case, and that the case documents would so far refer to "unidentified officials."

Serdyukov's lawyer Genrikh Padva declined to comment to Interfax.

According to reports on January 16, investigators are looking into the allegedly illegal project to lay an 8-kilometer road leading to a recreation facility in the Volga estuary in the Astrakhan region owned by one of the ex-minister's relatives.

The project was said to have inflicted damages on the state that various estimates put at between 18 million and 80 million rubles.

In autumn 2012, there came allegations of large-scale theft in Oboronservis, a company run by the Defense Ministry, and on October 6 President Vladimir Putin fired Serdyukov \"in order to make an objective investigation of all aspects of the matters possible."

Oboronservis, established by the Russian president on September 15, 2008, includes nine entities.

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