12:29 GMT +325 September 2018
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    Criminal case opened against land purveyor involved in Kasyanov deal

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    MOSCOW, July 12 (RIA Novosti) - Criminal proceedings have begun against the firm that sold an elite land plot within Moscow city limits to former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, the General Prosecutor's Office has said.

    On Monday, prosecutors opened a criminal case against Kasyanov on the charges of fraud and inflicting material damage to the state. Both criminal cases were opened at the request of journalist Alexander Khinshtein, a member of the lower house of parliament, the State Duma.

    Kasyanov denies any wrongdoing.

    According to Khinshtein's inquiry, VPK-Invest fraudulently acquired an elite land plot, previously owned by the state. A government residence is located on the land, an official in Russia's law-enforcement bodies said. Kasyanov lived in the government residence until President Vladimir Putin excused him. On the day of his dismissal, Kasyanov purchased the land and the residence from the company.

    The General Prosecutor's Office seized original documents and was studying the legitimacy of the deal, as well as the legitimacy of deals concluded by government officials for the sale of state property.

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