Alexander Migulya, ex-Mayor of Blagoveshensk, sentenced to nine years behind bars for corruption
The Mayor used to provide lands to commercial companies on ‘friendly’ conditions. In total, the budgets of the Amur region and Blagoveshensk fell short of over 40 million rubles.
The Blagoveshensk City Court has sentenced Alexander Migulya, the ex-mayor of Blagoveshensk, to nine years behind bars, – Interfax reported. The court has found him guilty under Articles 286 (Exceeding Official Powers), 285.1. (Spending Budgetary Funds for the Wrong Purposes), and 285 (Abuse of Official Powers) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The court has also imposed arrest on Migulya’s assets.
Before the sentencing, the defendant addressed the court asking to act strictly in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Russian Federation.
“Being elected as the Mayor, I was taking an oath every time, and I had always been guided by the laws of the Russian Federation and Amur region, as well as regulations of Blagoveshensk; I never violated anything and tried not to violate. The accusations of the prosecution are very insulting to me because not only are those unfounded, but even framed-up,” – the ex-Mayor said.
After the sentencing, Migulya said that he intended to appeal the court decision.
The criminal case against the Blagoveshensk ex-Mayor was initiated back in April 2011. In June 2011 he was put on the international wanted list. Only in 2015 he was found and arrested in the Lipetsk region and then escorted to the Amur region and put to pretrial detention facility.
In June 2016, Alexander Migulya, being in detention, suddenly announced his intention to run for the State Duma elections. He asked the court to change his pretrial restrictions because the detention impedes his self-fulfillment in the political field. The court has declined this request due to the concern that Migulya might abscond again.
As the CrimeRussia reported earlier, being the Mayor of Blagoveshensk, the defendant has sold to his acquaintance an 8-hectare land lot in Mukhinka settlement at a price considerably lower than its market value, which resulted in damages to the municipal budget for 20 million rubles.
In addition, Migulya created friendly conditions for MISSK company that had rented lands for construction of Severny (Northern) housing complex. The company did not pay the rent, thus, inflicting damages to the municipality for more than 19 million rubles. The former Mayor has also been charged with spending over 46 million rubles of budgetary funds for the wrong purposes during the acquisition of a motorway bridge across the Chigiri River.
Alexander Migulya was the Mayor of Blagoveshensk in the period of 2004–2010. In 2010, by a decision of Governor Oleg Kozhemyako, he had to leave this post for failure to comply with a court decision: he did not reinstate the director of a municipal enterprise in his position. The former Mayor attempted to appeal his removal from post in court, but failed, and finally he gave up and has withdrawn his cassation.
Defense lawyers for Migulya believe that their client was prosecuted illegally and unreasonably, and the real reason behind his prosecution is not the land sale or budget spending, but the conflict between Migulya and Kozhemyako.
Rosfinmonitoring (Federal Financial Monitoring Service) analyzed the data of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers and discovered thousands of offshore companies through which the Russians laundered billions of rubles. Materials on deputies and governors were handed over to law enforcers.
A spokesperson of the Prosecutor's office said that the ECHR had not studied all the materials of the criminal case, so they were offered not to overturn the verdict, but to send the case for a new review in court.