Arrested Deputy Head of Penitentiary Service asks ICR, FSB, and Prosecutor General’s Office to question him
Oleg Korshunov thus hopes to prove his innocence.
Ex-Head of the Federal Penitentiary Service Oleg Korshunov, arrested in a case of large embezzlement, has appealed to ICR Head Alexander Bastrykin, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, and Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika with a request to interrogate him, Kommersant reports. Korshunov said he was ready to prove his non-involvement in each crime episode. At the moment, the former official is in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center. Yesterday, the Moscow City Court refused to transfer him under house arrest. Korshunov will remain in custody until February 2018.
According to Korshunov’s statement, officers of the FSB Anti-Corruption Department M, specializing in law enforcement agencies, had been digging up dirt on him and other Federal Penitentiary Service deputy heads since 2016. Law enforcers would interview “almost all persons” related to the Federal Penitentiary Service system on the slightest of pretexts. In exchange for loyalty, they would be required to confirm any facts of bribes, embezzlements, and any other official violations.
Korshunov called the investigative work against him “logical”, since he had been supervising finances and contracts, i.e. potentially the most corrupt area of the service’s activity. As a result of such an inspection in February 2016, an FSB officer drew up a report on Swindling on a large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code), allegedly committed by “unidentified officials of the Federal Penitentiary Service.” ICR Chairman Sergey Novikov, who had previously participated in the investigation into an OCG case under the leadership of MIA GUEBiPK (Main Directorate for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption) Head Denis Sugrobov, set matters moving.
Criminal cases of embezzlement have been initiated against Director of Konservny Zavod FSIN Rossii FSUE (Cannery of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia) Pavel Belikov and Oleg Korshunov. According to the investigation, in early 2015, they had entered into a criminal conspiracy. In his statement, Korshunov notes that it was not possible back at the time, since Konservny Zavod’s activity was supervised by a different Federal Penitentiary Service deputy director. Belikov has been arrested. After being questioned by FSB officers, the former cannery director testified about giving bribes to Korshunov and other high-ranking service officers in exchange for protection. As a result, both cases have been terminated. However, Pavel Belikov will soon stand trial for fraud. Konservny Zavod FSIN Rossii FSUE has been disbanded.
Although in the case with Belikov, it did not seem possible to prove Korshunov’s guilt, FSB officers continued interviewing businessmen who had cooperated with the Federal Penitentiary Service to find other dirt on him. September 13, 2017, Korshunov was charged with Misappropriation (part 4 of Art. 160 of the Russian Criminal Code) and placed in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center by the decision of the Basmanny Court of Moscow.
According to the investigation, the deputy director of the Federal Penitentiary Service entered into a criminal conspiracy with businesswoman Marina Dyukova and contributed to the victory of her company Energoresurs in contests for the supply of sugar and gasoline to the service. The investigation estimated the damage from these actions at 160 million rubles ($2.72 million). Korshunov called transactions with Energoresurs profitable for the Federal Penitentiary Service. The specifics of contracts did not provide for advance payment for supplies, as a result of which, according to the official, large commercial structures did not participate in tenders due to simply being unaware of them. Under the documents, it was necessary to supply fuel to more than 3,000 service points of the Federal Penitentiary Service, most of which are located in inaccessible regions.
In his statement, Korshunov stressed that while working in the service, he never refused to cooperate with law enforcement agencies. At the same time, over the three months of proceedings, he has yet to be questioned, despite the “serious inconsistencies” in the case materials. In this connection, he asked Alexander Bastrykin to arrange his interview, and Bortnikov and Chaika to check the reliability of his testimony.
The opposition leader was detained in the afternoon of February 22 in Moscow while he was walking out of a dental clinic. Navalny is accused of a second participation in an unsanctioned event, for which he faces up to 30 days of jail.
No violations have been revealed in the criminal prosecution of Colonel Zakharchenko’s family members. The appeal of lawyer Emelyanov to the president was forwarded to the Prosecutor General's Office and the ICR.