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Case Dropped Against Former Metro Head

A criminal case brought against former Moscow metro chief Dmitry Gayev for abuse of authority that cost the city budget 112 million rubles ($3.8 million) was closed, Gayev's lawyer Alexander Asnis told RIA-Novosti on Monday.

"I just informed Dmitry Vladimirovich [Gayev] about the news. He said he is happy and very grateful for the investigation because they have sorted out the matter and proven his complete innocence. In general, he has been sure from the very beginning that they would be able to prove his innocence," Asnis said.

Asnis said the criminal investigation was not a factor in his client's decision to remain abroad, which Asnis said was the result of Gayev's continuing to receive medical treatment.

Gayev, 61, resigned from his position in February 2011. He was informed that the criminal investigation was being opened from media reports while he was in the hospital recovering from two operations over a month later.

Gayev was accused of running a scheme in which he claimed royalties earned through intellectual rights for innovations created by metro engineers and suppliers, as well as misspending 3.3 billion rubles between 2008 and 2010. The charge against Gayev carried a sentence of up to four years in prison.

The former metro head was an official from Yury Luzhkov's tenor as mayor, and his ouster was seen as part of a political shake-up by newly appointed Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

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