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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Investigating Gutseriyev But Say He Faces No Jail Time

Former Russneft head Mikhail Gutseriyev remains under investigation even after his name was struck from an international wanted list, police said Friday.

Gutseriyev’s lawyer earlier said her client had been cleared of all charges, but investigators had never confirmed it.

“He is still suspected of illegal entrepreneurship,” said Alexei Anichin, head of the Interior Ministry’s investigative committee, RIA-Novosti reported.

He said, however, that Gutseriyev would not face imprisonment even if he were convicted.

Gutseriyev had been wanted by Russian investigators on charges of tax evasion and illegal entrepreneurship. He fled Russia in 2007, saying the accusations against him were false.

Last month, Russia dropped its arrest warrant for Gutseriyev, who is living in Britain, and cleared him of tax-evasion charges. On Wednesday, his name was removed from Interpol’s wanted list.

Gutseriyev has not made any public comments about his plans.

Meanwhile, Gutseriyev might regain ownership in Russneft, which was sold to billionaire Oleg Deripaska in 2007, Vedomosti reported Friday, citing an unidentified source close to the company. A source in Sistema, Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s holding company, which might assist in reaching the deal, told the newspaper that Russneft already is under Gutseriyev’s control.

Gutseriyev also is being named as a possible candidate for a political appointment. President Dmitry Medvedev mentioned in his state-of-the-nation speech Thursday that a special envoy would be appointed to the troubled North Caucasus region. Gutseriyev would be a good candidate for the position, Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said.

“He is an Ingush native and used to be a deputy and a deputy chairman in the State Duma,” Zhirinovsky told Interfax on Thursday.