The businessman's lawyers say the case is an economic dispute between Baturin and Inteco, which tried to not pay a debt under a promissory note.
"The promissory note is economically justified,” said Baturin’s lawyer, Igor Shabanov. “It was issued in 2000, based on a contract for an earlier loan, which Inteco was unable to repay.”
The court refused to release Baturin on bail, arguing that this is not the first time he has violated the law. In June, 2011, the businessman was found guilty of large-scale financial fraud and received a three-year suspended sentence.
Baturin pleaded not guilty and said that the case was contrived. He linked the charges against him to the dismissal of his sister’s husband – Moscow’s ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov – and the ensuing prosecution of Elena Baturina.
Russia’s only woman billionaire was involved in a large scandal around one of the largest Russian banks, the Bank of Moscow, which granted her an allegedly illegal loan of 13 billion rubles ($416 million).
Back in October, 2010, Viktor Baturin urged the authorities to investigate “the shady dealings” of his sister.
The businessman claimed that Baturina owed him millions of dollars, since Inteco was divided between the two. As well as the assets, he is seeking the salary he was supposed to have received from 1999 to 2005 when he was vice president of the company.
Moscow’s ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov claimed that the Russian authorities and media are using Viktor Baturin in a campaign aimed at the former mayor and his wife, Elena Baturina.
"Although he is my wife's brother, Baturin has nothing to do with her business or our family,” Luzhkov said. “We do not maintain relations with him.”
Baturin's sister, Elena Baturina, has not yet responded to his arrest.