RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Author)
Kremlin critic and former lawmaker Sergei Petrov has been put on an international most wanted list for allegedly siphoning off 4 billion rubles ($63.5 million) out of Russia in 2014.
The Basmanny district court in Moscow said on September 6 that Petrov, who is living abroad, has been put on the list amid a request by the federal Investigative Committee to try the 64-year-old in absentia.
"Sergei Petrov is wanted," a spokeswoman for the court was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying.
Petrov, who built a network of imported car dealerships in Russia known as Rolf, served as a lawmaker in Russia's parliament between 2007 and 2016, and was one of the few independent-minded deputies in what is widely considered a rubber-stamp body.
Among other things, Petrov voted against a law that banned the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens and introduced restrictions for U.S. citizens' trips to Russia.
He also voted against another controversial law that expanded the powers of law enforcement agencies and introduced new requirements for data collection and mandatory deciphering in the telecommunications industry.
Nor did Petrov take part in a parliamentary vote on the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014.
Petrov has denied he illegally moved money offshore, saying in a June 28 interview with RFE/RL that he believed he and his business were being targeted for political reasons.
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