MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - A notary earlier acquitted of murdering Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov denied all charges in a fraud case against him in a Moscow court.
On May 5, a jury acquitted Fail Sadretdinov and two co-defendants, Chechens Kazbek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhayev, of Klebnikov's 2004 killing, but the notary was re-arrested and charged a week later with fraud while registering an apartment deal in 2002.
Investigators said Sadretdinov used a forged will to take possession of an apartment in Moscow.
"I do not understand the accusation. It is incorrect and absolutely muddled," Sadretdinov said. "The accusation against me is another fabrication engineered by my old enemy - a 'black broker' - Alexei Pichugin."
Prosecutors in the case allege that besides accusations of murdering Klebnikov -- the editor of the Russian version of Forbes magazine and a U.S. national murdered in Moscow July 9, 2004 -- Sadretdinov and his gang are linked to the murder of former Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Yan Sergunin, and the attack on entrepreneur Alexei Pichugin, who was seriously wounded last June.
Pichugun is now a witness in the case. Sadretdinov claims that since 2003, Pichugin has repeatedly tried to slander him and was seeking his conviction.
"In November 2003, I informed law enforcement authorities that he [Pichugin] was involved in the murder of our common acquaintance, Zakirov," Sadretdinov said. "Consequently, Pichugin was seeking my conviction."
He reiterated that the case involving the apartment was a fabrication, and that there were no witnesses.