Chelyabinsk Region: District Head dismissed for land fraud
The official’s criminal acts resulted in demolition of House of Merchant Khozyainov, an object of cultural heritage.
Aleksandr Grachev, the Kasli District Head in the Chelyabinsk Region, has been suspended from his duties on suspicion of a land fraud.
According to investigators, between 2012 and 2013, the official, who served as the district’s Deputy Head, illegally transferred two plots of land encumbered by third party rights to local residents. The suspect himself said that at that time he did not know that the land was disputed. The investigating authorities also believe that in 2014 Grachev illegally gave out a land plot with House of Merchant Khozyainov, an object of cultural heritage. According to Ura.ru, the cultural object is a complex of three buildings, of which two are used as post office, both decorated with carvings. The third one used to be a barrack for workers before it became a tuberculosis department of the district hospital. Since a 2008 fire, the building has been abandoned. The new land tenant illegally demolished the object and replaced it with a ceremonial hall.
Grachev is charged with Exceeding Official Powers (part 1 of Art. 286 of the Criminal Code), yet the investigation did not see any commercial gain in the official’s actions. Investigators stated that Grachev’s intention was to “seek to improve his performance indicators when it comes to raising funds into the budget of the Kasli district."
Saburova believes that the Russian authorities violated articles 2 and 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, guaranteeing the right to life, as well as the right to freedom and personal inviolability.