MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court on Wednesday ordered a university rector from prison to house arrest in an embezzlement case that some observers have seen as part of authorities’ efforts to target members of the elite. country liberal.
Sergei Zuyev, rector of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, had been in jail since November. The institution is one of the leading non-state universities in the country.
Zuyev’s lawyers had long pressed for his release citing his poor health. At first, he denied the embezzlement charges.
An investigator endorsed the house arrest at a hearing held on Wednesday at the Tverskoy district court in the Russian capital, alleging that Zuyev had cooperated and compensated for the damages he was accused of.
Some observers point out that Zuyev’s case is part of a series of purges among members of the liberal elite and that they seek to silence independent voices in the midst of the Russian military campaign in Ukraine.
Another prominent academic, Vladimir Mau, rector of the Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, was placed under house arrest in June on charges of embezzlement stemming from the Zuyev investigation.
The investigation also touched Marina Rakova, a former Deputy Minister of Education who worked with Mau. Investigators on Wednesday asked the Moscow court to release Mau from house arrest at his own risk.