A court in Moscow has ordered a former Cabinet minister in the Russian government charged with embezzling $62 million jailed for two months.

The Basmanny District Court ordered Mikhail Abyzov kept in custody Wednesday while an investigation continues.

Abyzov is accused of leading a criminal group that allegedly embezzled the money from energy companies and deposited it in foreign banks. His lawyer said Abyzov denied the charges.

Former Russian Minister in charge of the
Former Russian Minister in charge of the “Open Government” Mikhail Abyzov, left, talks with his lawyer before a hearing in a court in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Abyzov was Russia’s minister for open government affairs in 2012-2018, overseeing information technologies and efforts to increase government transparency.

He was a close associate of Dmitry Medvedev, who was Russian president in 2008-2012 when term limits forced Vladimir Putin to move into the premier’s seat. Abyzov’s arrest could cloud Medvedev’s political future.

Medvedev has been prime minister since Putin reclaimed the presidency in 2012.

Former Russian Minister in charge of the
Former Russian Minister in charge of the “Open Government” Mikhail Abyzov, center right, is convoyed for a hearing in a court in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Former Russian Minister in charge of the
Former Russian Minister in charge of the “Open Government” Mikhail Abyzov, center, talks with his lawyer before a hearing in a court in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)