Arrested ex-Prime Minister of Dagestan and his subordinates face five new criminal cases

Arrested ex-Prime Minister of Dagestan and his subordinates face five new criminal cases
Acting Prime Minister of Dagestan Abdusamad Hamidov Photo: Grigory Sysoev / RIA Novosti

The FSB has revealed “close ties” to ex-Head of the republic Ramazan Abdulatipov among defendants in corruption cases.

The FSB has materials sufficient for initiating five more criminal cases against arrested Acting Prime Minister of Dagestan Abdusamad Hamidov, his deputies Shamil Isaev and Rayudin Yusufov, as well as former Minister of Education Shakhabas Shakhov. This is reported by RBC, which has familiarized itself with the FSB’s relevant report. The sources in the government of Dagestan and law enforcement agencies have confirmed the report’s authenticity. New Republic Head Vladimir Vailyev read the document back in the autumn of 2017, when he took up his duties, sources note.

The report indicates eight corruption episodes, under three of which former officials have already been charged. The investigation into the case, the defendants of which included Hamidov and his subordinates, had been conducted since July 31, 2015, according to the documents reviewed by the Basmanny Court when deciding on the arrest of former members of the Dagestan government.

The document is based on the evidence of Head of Direktsiya Gosudarstvennogo Zakazchika-Zastroyshchika (Direction of State Customer-Builder) Public Establishment Shamil Kadiev, detained in August 2015. According to the source close to the power structures of Dagestan, Kadiev testified against the leadership of the republic two years ago.

The report reads that “for the purpose of organizing a criminal scheme,” Hamidov had established a single Direction of State Customer-Builder to replace the five largest state institutions of Dagestan. He put Kadiev in charge of the direction. All state orders for construction and renovation in the republic would pass through this organization. Kadiev’s appointment was supported by Minister of Education and Science of Dagestan Shakhabas Shakhov, who is referred to as a “close contact” of former Republic Ramazan Abdulatipov in the report; the meaning of this expression is not specified.

One of the conditions of Kadiev’s appointment were five-percent kickbacks to Hamidov. In addition, all direction’s contractors were required to open accounts with Elbin Bank, actually owned by Hamidov. Thus, the organization’s entire annual budget (from 2 billion to 4 billion rubles, $34.6 to 69.2 million) would pass through the acting prime minister.

It is noted that Kadiev would pay kickbacks to former Minister of Education Shakhov. In 2013-2014, the Ministry of Education of Dagestan received 2.8 billion rubles ($48.4 million) from the federal budget in the framework of the corresponding target program. The Direction was entitled to a significant part of this amount. According to the FSB report, Kadiev presented valuable gifts to the Minister of Education, renovated his office, built a summer veranda, and bought furniture worth 1.5 million rubles ($25.965) for it. In turn, Shakhov supported the Direction head at all government meetings and personal meetings with Abdulatipov.

In 2013, roads leading to the houses of Hamidov and Abdulatipov at the entrance to Kaspiysk were renovated in Dagestan. The work was conducted without a tender, estimates and state contracts; the funds for their implementation in the amount of 20 million rubles ($346,200) were taken from the budget intended for other state orders. After the completion of the work, the acting Prime Minister ordered to falsify the documents and hold a formal auction. At the same time, he indicated that it took 35 million rubles ($605,850) to complete the work – almost twice as much as the actual cost. Some state-controlled dummy companies won the auction, and the money allocated for already completed work was stolen, the FSB reports.

Hamidov and his subordinates also helped director general of Aviaagregat Gairbek Gamzatov to “unreasonably” receive funds from the budget for the construction of an “engineering infrastructure facility” with a railway and highway line. The project was formalized as part of the Federal Target Program Yug Rossii (South of Russia), which pursues completely different goals. The officials helped Gamzatov to get money from the federal Ministry of Construction and Housing. As a result, the construction of the facility cost the federal budget 219.9 million rubles ($3.8 million). At least 57 million ($986.670) of those were appropriated and divided among Gamzatov, Kadiev, Hamidov, and Yusufov. In April 2016, Gamzatov was arrested on charges of fraud, but was released after a month and a half.

At the moment, Hamidov and his subordinates are only charged with three out of eight episodes. The investigation has yet to gather evidence of officials’ guilt on other counts listed in the FSB reports, lawyer of the former acting prime minister Ruslan Suleymanov said. The lawyer called the indictment weak. He said that the defense considers the investigation’s version “unreasonable and unlawful.”

In 2016, the ICR initiated a case of organized crime community creation in connection with the events in Dagestan. This was announced at a hearing at the Basmanny Court on February 6. According to the officials’ defense, this episode “did not see substantial progress.” However, a source in the MIA Main Directorate said that the available materials are enough to charge the officials with OCC creation.

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