Moscow court holds top defence official in jail on corruption charges

Moscow, April 24 (IANS/DPA) In the midst of Russia’s war against Ukraine, a court in Moscow has remanded Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov in custody on suspicion of corruption.

Ivanov, 48, must initially remain in custody until June 23, the press service of the court in the Basmanny district of Moscow announced on Wednesday. He has denied the charges.

The high-ranking official is accused of accepting bribes on a particularly large scale.

Ivanov was primarily responsible for construction projects – including in the occupied south-eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which Russia’s army completely destroyed during its seize of the port city in the first months of the war in 2022.

Another suspect in the case has also been remanded in custody, the court said. This is said to be a businessman who is a friend of Ivanov’s.

The team of Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny, who died in prison in February, had already made allegations of corruption against Ivanov at the end of 2022, but there was no official reaction at the time.

In an investigation, Navalny’s group accused Ivanov of having financed the construction of properties in several Russian regions via defence ministry contractors.

Ivanov is considered a confidant of Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. He has been one of the minister’s 12 deputies since 2016.

In 2012, he was head of the government of the Moscow region, where Shoigu was governor at the time. Shoigu later took Ivanov with him when Shoigu was transferred to the Ministry of Defence.

The Kremlin said after the arrest that Shoigu had been informed of the move in advance.



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