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Charges pressed against fourth suspect in Storchak case

MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) - Prosecutors have pressed charges against a fourth suspect in the case of deputy finance minister, Sergei Storchak, accused of attempting to embezzle $43 million, a lawyer for the defense said on Monday.

A Moscow court issued on Monday an arrest warrant for Igor Kruglyakov, a member of the Interregional Investment Bank's board of directors, on charges of an attempted fraud.

"Today the prosecution officially announced charges against Kruglyakov of attempted fraud on a large scale perpetrated by an organized group," Genri Reznik said.

A key figure in Russia's Paris Club debt talks, Storchak was detained in Moscow along with two businessmen on November 15. A refusal of bail was based on prosecutors' concerns that Storchak could destroy evidence or intimidate witnesses.

Russia's Investigation Committee said that the detention was connected to debts to the Sodexim company and that Storchak had been arrested along with Sodexim general director Viktor Zakharov and the president of the Moscow-based Interregional Investment Bank, Vadim Volkov. The men face five to ten years in prison. 

Storchak maintains he is innocent.

Reznik also said that on Monday his defendant was not able to testify as he did not feel well, adding that the defense had already appealed against the court's order for Kruglyakov's arrest.

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