Moscow court refuses to set free pseudo-healer accused of swindling

Itar-Tass, Moscow/November 13, 2006

Moscow City court has refused to release from custody the pseudo-healer Grigory Grabovoi, who is accused of swindling, the court's press secretary Anna Usachova said.

"This means the judges turned down a petition of the lawyers who asked for changing the form of preventive punishment for Grabovoi.

Also Monday, the Prosecutor's Office revoked its earlier complaint against the motion of Moscow's Taganka district court that demanded a re-investigation of the case to eliminate some previous mistakes the investigators had made.

In this case, the prosecutors will not petition against judges' action.

A criminal case over the activity of the pseudo-ESP Grabovoi was instituted in April following exposure of fraudent actions on the part of workers at the fund he heads.

Charges against the man were issued on the basis of eleven episodes, in which he embezzled the victims' money, promising them to resurrect their relatives who had died violent deaths or to cure people from heavy diseases.

If his guilt is proved, Grabovoi will face a jail term of up to ten years and a penalty of around a million rubles [USD 1=RUB 26.9].

The prosecutors say Grabovoi created a pyramid-like organization that trained people for money and then signed contracts with them for training other people in different regions of Russia.

Investigators say Grabovoi's profit amounted to 10% of financial gains of each affiliation of his sect.

Each person who attended his group seminars, which brought together up to 500 people at a time, paid 2,000 rubles for this kind of training, while individual trainees paid 39,100 rubles for a course.

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