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Russian Investigators Deny Tycoon Yevtushenkov's Release

Vladimir Yevtushenkov

Russian investigators have dismissed media reports saying billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov had been released from house arrest.

The Investigative Committee's spokesman Vladimir Markin said on September 19 that Yevtushenkov remains under house arrest and that all reports about his release are not true.

Yevtushenkov, 65, is the main shareholder of Moscow-based AFK Sistema investment group.

He was arrested and charged on September 16 with money laundering in a deal to acquire a regional oil company five years ago.

Yevtushenkov's arrest sent shock waves through Russia's business community, drawing comparisons to the arrest of tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2003.

Markin's statement came hours after media reports in Russia cited AFK Sistema officials as saying Yevtushenkov was released but ordered not to leave Moscow until investigations into his case are over.

Based on reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, RIA, Reuters, and AP