Banker Lebedev to remain in custody

The Meschanski court of Moscow has left Platon Lebedev in custody, Yelena Liptzer, a lawyer for the head of the financial association Menatep, has said to journalists.

The court has turned down the defence plea for setting Lebedev free.

Not long ago, the Meschanski court also refused to release him from custody. Now his lawyers have again asked to release him.

The defence said that an answer arrived from the European Human Rights Court that Lebedev's plea will be considered by the Strasbourg court as a priority.

Liptzer said that prosecutor Dmitri Shokhin asked the court to leave Lebedev in custody because the Prosecutor's Office believes that he may hide from investigation and pressure witnesses. "The prosecutor asked the court to consider the gravity of Lebedev's crimes and the fact that he has international contacts and has a foreign passport", Liptzer said. Lebedev is accused on seven articles of the Russian Criminal Code, including tax evasion and big swindle.

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