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Business Associate Of Kyrgyz President's Son Wanted By Italy

Yevgeny Gurevich, the head of the MGN Group

Yevgeny Gurevich, the head of the MGN Group

BISHKEK -- A business associate of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev's son says he will step down as head of his company after a warrant was issued for his arrest in Italy, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Yevgeny Gurevich, who is also known as Eugene Gourevitch, told journalists through a representative in Bishkek today that he is leaving all his posts to "fix misunderstandings [that have] occurred in Italy."

Italian media reported on March 9 that a judge in Rome had issued an arrest warrant for Gurevich, who is accused of embezzling some $2.7 billion from divisions of Telecom Italia and the Fastweb telecom company between 2003 and 2006.

He is being charged with criminal conspiracy and money laundering as part of a bigger case involving dozens of others.

Gurevich has reportedly held a U.S. passport since 1990.

The MGN Group has been actively involved in the Kyrgyz investment market since 2008. It has numerous holdings, including banks, and is one of Kyrgyzstan's most powerful conglomerates.

MGN became a major partner of Kyrgyzstan's Central Agency for Development and Investments, which is led by President Bakiev's son, Maksim Bakiev.

The acronym MGN is thought by many to stand for Maksim, Gurevich, and Nadel, the last name of businessman Mikhail Nadel. Both Gurevich and Maksim Bakiev have repeatedly denied having business ties with each other.

Kyrgyzstan's state Development Fund, which reports directly to the president, announced today that it has annuled all agreements it has made with MGN.