Mogilevich Remanded in Custody

A Moscow court on Monday remanded businessman Semyon Mogilevich in custody, rejecting an offer by his lawyers to post a higher bail of $2.1 million.

Mogilevich and another businessman, Vladimir Nekrasov, are accused of evading taxes of 50 million rubles, exactly the amount of the proposed bail. Mogilevich had asked the court in February to free him on bail of 5 million rubles.

The Moscow City Court backed a request by prosecutors that Mogilevich, who is wanted by the FBI on separate charges, be returned to prison, Interfax reported. Prosecutors earlier said they had no objection to him being freed pending trial.

The court said Mogilevich would remain in detention until July 23, upholding a decision by Moscow's Ostankinsky District Court last month.

A call to the Prosecutor General's Office, which is overseeing the case, went unanswered on Monday afternoon.

Mogilevich, who also uses the last name Shnaider. has been in jail since his January arrest on tax-evasion charges linked to Arbat Prestige, one of the largest cosmetics chains in Russia. He denies the charges, saying he has no involvement in the company.

Mogilevich's lawyer, Alexander Pogonchenkov, asked the court on Monday to release his client on the grounds that he could not flee Russia due to an outstanding Interpol arrest warrant.

The FBI is seeking Mogilevich's arrest on 2003 charges of fraud and racketeering linked to the manipulation of corporate stock.

In addition, Pogonchenkov said, Mogilevich felt unwell and was cooperating with investigators. Mogilevich, 61, who was not in the courtroom for the hearing, has said he suffers from diabetes.

An investigator told the court that Mogilevich was using a birth certificate with the wrong birth date.

The authorities are considering an inquiry into the matter, said the investigator, who did not give his name to reporters.