MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian judge facing corruption allegations has left the country for the United States, where she plans to give birth to a child, investigators said.
The Investigative Committee is seeking formal approval to open a case against Irina Baranova on charges of large-scale fraud and instigation to bribery.
But the Higher Judges’ Qualifications Board postponed review of the request Wednesday, saying Baranova had not been informed of the hearing.
The investigation will now have to find a way of informing her about the next hearing, the date of which has not been set.
Baranova flew to Miami on December 21, an investigation spokesman said in the courtroom.
Baranova, 42, took maternity leave from the Supreme Arbitration Court until May, Kommersant daily reported.
The judge is accused of assisting two businessmen jailed last September in illegally taking over lucrative real estate property in downtown Moscow.
Investigators recorded phone conversations in which the pair allegedly promised Baranova around $140,000 to persuade another judge to rule in their favor, Kommersant said.
The judge’s lawyer denied all accusations against his client and insisted the move to the United States did not mean she was fleeing the investigation.