ROSTOV-ON-DON, February 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s chief military prosecutor, Sergei Fridinsky, said on Wednesday he saw no violations in former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov’s refusal to answer investigators’ questions.
“It’s a right of every human and it is guaranteed by the law,” Fridinsky told journalists in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, adding that the refusal is “within the legal framework.”
Serdyukov and the former head of the Defense Ministry’s property department, Yevgenia Vasilyeva, were summoned for questioning on Tuesday, but refused to answer questions, including those concerning an investigation against Serdyukov’s brother-in-law. The Russian Constitution permits witnesses and suspects not to testify against themselves or their close relatives.
The widely-publicized Oboronservis fraud case involves illegal sale of the defense ministry’s property with the damages from these deals adding up to about 4 billion rubles ($130 million). The investigation, involving at least a dozen separate instances of fraud, led to Serdyukov’s sacking last November.