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Russian court lifts arrest warrant against Hediard owner -agency

Friday, 27 Dec 2013 | 5:30 AM ET

MOSCOW, Dec 27 (Reuters) - A Russian court has lifted an arrest warrant pending over Sergei Pugachev, owner of insolvent French luxury food retailer Hediard, due to 'technical violations,' Interfax reported on Friday, in a case related to his Russian business interests.

Pugachev's Luxadvor group bought Hediard, the 150-year-old French chain of luxury food shops, in 2007 in a deal that aimed to help it to expand abroad, but the chain has continued to lose money for the past six years. In October, Hediard was placed under court-ordered restructuring after it filed for insolvency.

The Moscow City court granted an appeal by Pugachev's lawyers against his arrest and returned the case to the court of original jurisdiction, Interfax reported. Meanwhile, Pugachev will remain on an international wanted list, it said citing a source. The court was not immediately available to comment on Friday.

Another Russian court had ordered Pugachev's arrest earlier this month following a request from Russia's federal Investigative Committee, which is looking into allegations of fraud involving Russia's IIB bank - also known as Mezhprombank - according to business daily Kommersant. Pugachev is a beneficial owner of IIB, according to Kommersant.

Pugachev's lawyer Aleksandr Gofshtein could not immediately be reached for comment. Pugachev's spokesman declined comment.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Megan Davies and Jane Merriman)