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Russian rocket boss fraud allegations

July 15, 2015

By Chris Forrester

Russia’s Interfax news agency is reporting that the head of RSC Energia will remain under house arrest until at least November.

Vitaly Lopota, the former president of rocket engine builder Energia, has been accused of abuse of office. Lopota, via his lawyers, told a Moscow court that he denies wrongdoing.

Judge Yelena Lenskaya heard a request for his bail conditions to be relaxed, and denied the application. She ruled that the charges stay in place and the terms of his house arrest cannot be changed.

The charges relate to accusations that he has illegally authorised loans to the Sea Launch rocket-launching venture.

Energia owns 95 per cent of the Sea Launch floating launch platform. Boeing owns 2.5 percent, Aker Solutions of Norway own the remaining 2.5 per cent.

The last Sea Launch mission successfully lifted Eutelsat 3B into orbit in May 2014. However, Sea Launch, under its previous j-v owners went through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, and emerged in a reformed state in 2010.

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