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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Adamov Pleads Not Guilty

Former atomic energy chief Yevgeny Adamov pleaded not guilty in a Moscow court Monday as prosecutors read out charges of fraud and abuse of office, Russian news reports said.

Adamov, who has been indicted by U.S. prosecutors on charges of stealing millions in U.S. government funds intended to bolster Russia's nuclear security, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

"One cannot be guilty of something that does not exist, if there is no basis for the crime, no criminal act," Adamov told the Zamoskvoretsky District Court, Interfax quoted.

Calls to Adamov's lawyer Henry Reznik were not immediately returned.

U.S. prosecutors allege that Adamov and another man stole $9 million from the United States and others by setting up U.S. corporations and diverting to them money that had been intended to improve Russia's nuclear safety.

Adamov was fired in 2001 by President Vladimir Putin and was later accused by a parliamentary committee of illegally setting up companies. He was arrested in Switzerland in May 2005 after being indicted. U.S. officials sought to try him in the United States, but Russian officials, fearing he could reveal state secrets, argued he should face the trial in his home country.

A Moscow court in August sent the case against Adamov back to prosecutors for reworking, citing procedural and other violations, and he has been free on bail since July. The trial was scheduled to resume Wednesday.