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Moscow court rules dacha sale to former PM Kasyanov illegal - 1

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MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court rejected an appeal filed by a former prime minister against a ruling that declared the sale of a state-owned dacha illegal.

The long-running case focuses on the Sosnovka-1 dacha in western Moscow, which is now owned by Mikhail Kasyanov, who was President Vladimir Putin's first premier in 2000-2004.

The Moscow District Federal Arbitration Court's ruling did not affect previous rulings of the Moscow Arbitration Court and appeals court. But the dacha and the land plot remain in Kasyanov's ownership.

Earlier it was reported that in September 1996, the state property committee signed a deal with Russian oil company, Evikhon, through which the company obtained a 49-year lease for Sosnovka-1. Evikhon subsequently sold its tenant's rights to state company VPK Invest, which in February 2003 received authorization from the property department to sell the dacha.

The Sosnovka-1 plot was then sold to Amelia, a company, which resold it to ex-premier Mikhail Kasyanov. On February 2, 2006, the Moscow Arbitration Court invalidated the sale of Sosnovka-1 to Kasyanov, but he was not deprived of the plot as the court ruled that he had been bona fide purchaser.

On April 21, a Moscow arbitration appeals court upheld the Moscow Arbitration Court's ruling, rejecting Kasyanov's appeal against it.

Sosnovka-1 stretches over 11.5 hectares on the Moskva River with a private beach. In Soviet times, the land was home to a Communist Party boss, Mikhail Suslov.

Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn lives at nearby Sosnovka-2.

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