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Russian ex-minister arrested on fraud charges

By The News · 29 of March 2019 13:29:52
AP Photo,, No available, FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 file photo former Minister in charge of the "Open Government" Mikhail Abyzov, smiles in the Gorki residence outside Moscow. Russian Investigative Committee officials said Tuesday March 26, 2019, that Abyzov, who was a member of the Russian Cabinet in 2012-2018, has been arrested on charges of fraud. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Yekaterina Shtukina, Presidential Press Service, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s state investigative agency says that a former government minister has been arrested on fraud charges.

The Investigative Committee said Tuesday that Mikhail Abyzov is accused of presiding over a criminal group that embezzled funds belonging to two energy companies in Siberia and siphoned them into foreign bank accounts.

The 46-year-old Abyzov was a member of the Russian Cabinet in 2012-2018, overseeing information technologies and efforts to increase the government’s transparency.

He was a close associate of Dmitry Medvedev, who served as Russian president in 2008-2012 when Vladimir Putin had to shift into the prime minister’s seat because of term limits. Following Putin’s return as president, Medvedev moved into the premier’s seat and Abyzov retained a key position.

Abyzov left the Cabinet last year, but continued to advise the government.