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Former Russian Defense Minister Refuses To Talk In Fraud Case

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) with Anatoly Serdyukov in June, when Serdyukov was still defense minister.
Former Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has refused to answer questions from investigators in a $100 million property fraud case.

A statement from Russia's Investigative committee said Serdyukov remained silent because his lawyer was unable to attend due to illness.

He will be called again for questioning on January 11 as a witness.

Serdyukov was dismissed by President Vladimir Putin after the scandal broke in early November.

He is not currently a suspect.

But a former subordinate, Yevgenia Vasilyeva, has been charged with fraud and embezzlement.

She is accused of involvement in deals in which Defense Ministry property was sold off to insiders below market price, reportedly resulting in a loss to the state of at least 3 billion rubles ($100 million).

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax