Court Extends Storchak Detention

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin vouched for his deputy Sergei Storchak and called for his release after a Moscow court extended an order to detain him on charges of attempted embezzlement on Tuesday.

Storchak "will not flee anywhere and will cooperate with the investigation like a law-abiding citizen," if he is released on bail or placed under house arrest, Kudrin said through a spokesman. Kudrin said this was his "personal guarantee."

Storchak, detained on Nov. 15, is awaiting trial on charges of attempting to embezzle $43.4 million from the federal government. His lawyers have said he denies any wrongdoing.

Moscow's Basmanny District Court extended the deputy finance minister's detention to July 9, granting a petition from investigators at the Prosecutor General's Office for more time to build a case, said Igor Pastukhov, a lawyer for Storchak. He said, "In our opinion, the investigators aren't being particularly active."