Key Defense Ministry Case Suspect Demands Return of Confiscated Property

Lawyers of Yevgenia Vasilyeva, one of the key suspects in a Defense Ministry corruption probe, asked investigators to return all of her confiscated property, worth $4 million, Izvestia reported Friday.

The property was confiscated by investigators during searches of her elite apartment in central Moscow. The seized belongings include a collection of paintings by famous Russian painters Sudeikin and Tvorozhnikov, among others, as well as 1,500 pieces of jewelry, including diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds.

Vasiliyeva is reportedly concerned about the paintings being damaged during their transfer.

Vasiliyeva was the head of the Defense Ministry's property relations department and was also believed to be romantically involved with former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

She is currently under house arrest.

Former Defense Ministry officials are suspected of orchestrating a massive fraudulent property sales scheme.

Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin said on Thursday that the total amount of estimated losses incurred by the state from the suspects' activities surpassed 13 billion (over $430 million).

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