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Russian Authorities Order Tycoon Freed From House Arrest

Russian authorities have released billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov from house arrest less than two months after a controversial ruling to nationalize his stake in an oil company.

Vladimir Kozin, Yevtushenkov's lawyer, made the announcement on December 17, saying the decision to free Yevtushenkov came from the investigator probing the case of the Bashneft oil company.

Yevtushenkov was listed by Forbes as Russia's 15th wealthiest man when he was arrested in September, charged with money laundering and ordered to be placed under house arrest.

The Moscow Arbitration Court ruled at the end of October that the stake in Bashneft oil held by Yevtushenkov's holding company Sistema would be returned to the state.

Prosecutors claimed the stake was illegally privatized by officials in Russia's Bashkortostan region.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax