Birobidzhan region head becomes defendant of criminal case for allocation of reserve forest land to UR deputy

Birobidzhan region head becomes defendant of criminal case for allocation of reserve forest land to UR deputy
Evgeny Kochmar

According to the investigation, the transfer of a land plot on the territory of the state reserve Uldur caused damage to the nature of the Jewish Autonomous Region by more than 6 million rubles ($88,000).

In the Jewish Autonomous Region, the investigative authorities of the regional Investigative Department of the ICR opened a criminal case against the head of the Birobidzhan municipal district Yevgeny Kochmar. According to the media Time of Birobidzhan, Yevgeny Kochmar is suspected of exceeding official authority (Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

According to the version of the investigation, the head of the local government illegally disposed of the land on the territory of the state nature reserve of regional significance Uldur, transferring the land to temporary possession of a businessman and a deputy from the party United Russia Sergey Sinyagin.

The investigative authorities have already conducted a pre-investigation check on this fact but refused to initiate a criminal case against the district head. However, the regional prosecutor's office did not agree with this decision. It was canceled, and the materials were returned for further verification.

Earlier, investigators of the Investigative Department of the ICR for the Jewish Autonomous Region (JAR) initiated a criminal investigation into the violation of the regime of the state nature reserve of regional significance Uldur on the grounds of the crime provided for in Art. 262 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Violation of the regime of specially protected natural territories and natural objects).

Investigators believe that during the period from November 2015 to July 2016, unidentified persons illegally dumped sandy-gravel mixture on a land plot of 3,360 square meters located on the territory of the reserve. After that, the soil-vegetation layer was sealed with a pile up to one-meter-high, the fertile soil layer was blocked so that the growth of vegetation ceased, and the habitat area of terrestrial animals was reduced. According to the case materials, the results of unlawful activities adversely affected the animal populations, including those listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and caused damage to the nature of the region for more than 6 million 200 thousand rubles. In June 2018, the prosecution in this case was brought against the deputy of the JAR Legislative Assembly Sergey Sinyagin – his company conducted work in the Uldur wildlife sanctuary. The businessman and the administration of the Birobidzhan district signed an agreement on the lease of municipal property – the Bobrikhinsky water reservoir and the adjacent land plot back on November 2, 2015. By now the court has already recognized the transaction as insignificant and ordered the administration of the Birobidzhan district to return the land to the owner – the Jewish Autonomous Region.

As reported by news agency EAOMedia, Evgeny Kochmar himself is sure that he acted within the law and allocated the land plot for Sinyagin only after receiving all necessary approvals and permits. The head of the district is ready to cooperate with law enforcement bodies to prove his innocence.

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