The petition to suspend Andrey Borodin, the president of the bank, and Dmitry Akulin, his deputy, from their posts was presented to Moscow's Tverskoy District Court by Dmitry Pisarevsky, the investigator of cases of particular importance in the investigative department of Moscow police. The petition has been sent back for «elimination of defects».
The police insist on Borodin's suspension for the period of investigation into the criminal case of granting unsecured loan to the sum of 12.76 billion roubles ($ 450 m) which eventually turned up in Elena Baturina's private accounts. The criminal proceedings were initiated under Article 159.4 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation (large-scale fraud).
The investigators may raise new lines of enquiry. The evidence of asset stripping has been obtained. During the period from January to March 2011, shares of a number of companies, including Kirov and Tomsk plywood works, Sokolsk woodworking plant and Novaya Vyatka chipboard works, disappeared from the books of Investlesprom close corporation (controlled by the bank through the umbrella companies and 20% direct stake).
Andrey Borodin and people close to him deny claims of the new shareholder. They believe that the investigators' attempt to suspend Borodin from his position is a pretext. A source says: «The point is a growing conflict with VTB. What is at issue is using administrative pressure per se to buy the asset for a song. The minority shareholders believe the fact that VTB haven't announced an offer shows initial unwillingness to pay reasonable price».
Let us remind that the largest minority shareholders of the Bank of Moscow are Mr Borodin (who together with his advisor Lev Alaluev have 20.36% stake). Since the end of last week Mr Borodin has been abroad. There have been no official comment neither from VTB nor from the Bank of Moscow.