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Russian Duma Deputy Sought For Financial Fraud

Ashot Yegiazarian has been stripped of his parliamentary immunity.
MOSCOW -- The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office has issued a search and arrest order for Duma Deputy Ashot Yegiazarian for alleged financial crimes, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The spokesman of the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor-General's Office, Vladimir Markin, told journalists today that Yegiazarian was wanted for large-scale fraud.

On November 3, Russia's State Duma stripped Yegiazarian of his parliamentary immunity. It had earlier agreed that the Investigative Committee should launch a criminal case against him.

Yegiazarian, 45, has sent a letter to the investigators stating that he is in the United States and not intending to return to Russia because of fears for his safety.

A Moscow city court today also impounded the shares of several companies controlled by Yegiazarian. Police raided his offices on November 8.

A Duma deputy since 1999, Yegiazarian is currently a member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.

He headed the Moscow National Bank in 1993 and has been a top official in several other financial institutions since then.

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