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Fugitive Russian Tycoon Appeals To Medvedev To Release Associate

Former Evroset owner Yevgeny Chichvarkin

Former Evroset owner Yevgeny Chichvarkin

The former owner of the Russian telecom company Evroset has appealed to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to release the company's vice president from pretrial detention, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Yevgenny Chichvarkin, who faced arrest in Russia on charges of kidnapping and extortion at Evroset, is now living in London. He made his appeal in a video sent to the Russian president.

In the video, Chichvarkin says he fears that Evroset Vice President Boris Levin, who Chichvarkin said has hepatitis, could die in detention.

Chichvarkin also claims that goods worth many millions of dollars have been stolen from Evroset by law enforcement officers. He adds that security forces are responsible for several deaths, describing the methods used by investigators as "fascist."

There have been some widely reported deaths of prisoners in pretrial detention in Moscow in recent months. As a result, prisons conditions for defendants have come under close scrutiny.