Dmitry Medvedev and Alexei Kudrin. Source: ITAR-TASS
Alexei Kudrin, Russia's former finance minister and head of the Civil Initiatives Committee, believes the freedom restrictions imposed on Vladimir Yevtushenkov, the head of AFK Sistema, are excessive and says he opposes the arrests of businessmen in connection with investigations into economic cases if they are willing to cooperate with the investigators.
"I believe the freedom restrictions imposed on Yevtushenkov are excessive. He is a totally law-abiding person, he is cooperating with the investigators, and, if an economic investigation is launched, I am against freedom restrictions on this businessman, who leads a very large corporation and is willing to cooperate with the investigators, and all such businessmen," Kudrin said, commenting on Yevtushenkov's house arrest.
Kudrin reiterated that problems with the privatization of Bashneft were known a long time ago. "The deal to buy this asset by Yevtushenkov's structure was fully approved by all levels of the administration. I don't know what could have changed in this time," he said.
Kudrin said he believes the investigation into this case "raises big questions." He reiterated that everyone who has objections about it is not against the investigation itself, but they oppose the freedom restrictions imposed on the head of AFK Sistema because they seriously hurt Sistema's assets.
"This should not have happened. Other cases, including the Storchak case in the Finance Ministry, showed that taking people into custody is excessive and unfair," he said.
Kudrin also said that a person who is under investigation cannot be considered guilty before a court ruling is issued and therefore there is no point restricting his freedom.
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