Chichvarkin Questioned in Yevroset Case

Yevroset chairman and co-owner Yevgeny Chichvarkin was questioned for close to four hours Monday by members of the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office, Interfax reported.

Chichvarkin declined to say why he had been questioned, saying he first needed to consult with a lawyer.

"I don't want to contribute to the ruin of the fate of an employee of ours," he said, the news agency reported. "I'm trying to communicate my pain and offense at the fact that employees who provide legal protection for a large, creative company are currently behind bars," even as "the swindler is free, and why they accepted his version."

Yury Gervis, a lawyer for Chichvarkin, told Interfax that the questioning was "with regard to a case involving the smuggling of mobile phones."

On Thursday, Chichvarkin came to the defense of two Yevroset employees, vice president Boris Levin and deputy head of security Andrei Yermilov, who are accused of kidnapping and extortion.

Chichvarkin said they were arrested in connection with a case from 2003 involving former employee Andrei Vlaskin, who was charged with reselling phones stolen from shipments to Yevroset. Vlaskin later paid 20 million rubles in damages to settle the case.

A spokesperson for the Investigative Committee declined to comment.

Repeated calls to Yevroset's press office went unanswered.