Storchak investigator faces Russia inquiry-reports

MOSCOW, March 29 (Reuters) - The investigator leading the case against Russia’s deputy finance minister, who was arrested on attempted embezzlement charges in November, is himself facing a probe, Russian media reported on Saturday.

Dmitry Dovgy, the head of the main investigative unit of the Investigative Committee, and members of his staff are facing an internal inquiry “related to how they handled official duties”, the media quoted a committee spokesman as saying.

Dovgy’s office is in charge of the case against Sergei Storchak who has been held since November on charges of attempting to embezzle $43 million in budget funds.

The spokesman at the committee, which falls under the General Prosecutor’s office, did not say whether there was a link between the Storchak case and the internal inquiry.

The arrest of Storchak, Russia’s foreign debt negotiator and supervisor of a budget stabilisation fund worth more than $150 billion, amounted to a attack against a liberal Kremlin faction led by Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, analysts say.

Since the arrest, another powerful liberal, Dmitry Medvedev, won the presidential election, putting in question the future influence of more hawkish Kremlin officials with a security service background.

One of these Kremlin conservatives, and a close ally of outgoing President Vladimir Putin, is Alexander Bastrykhin, the head of the Investigative Committee who is handling the inquiry against Dovgy, the reports said. (Reporting by Simon Shuster; Editing by Robert Woodward)