Court takes former mayor of Yalta into custody

Court takes former mayor of Yalta into custody
Andrey Rostenko Photo: Valery Melnikov / RIA Novosti

According to the investigation, the official illegally transferred a real property from a private party to public ownership.

The Moscow Basmanny Court arrested the former mayor of Yalta, Andrey Rostenko, who had been in office since November 2014. He will be kept in jail until July 21, charged with office abuse.

FSB detained the former mayor as soon as he came back from abroad. The Crimean head, Sergei Aksenov, posted on Facebook that the case is about a land plot in Yalta that was intended for Alupka Sanatorium of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. He also wrote that neither he nor other republic's authorities claimed any damages.

Rostenko’s attorney, Mr. Avdeev, said that the investigation considers it a crime that his client had transferred property of 26.000 square meters to public ownership, while it had had no official owner, according to the documentation. Since it was not registered with anyone, there was an order of the head of the Yalta city council to transfer the property into public ownership, while the investigation believes that it should have been transferred to private ownership. Some sources say that the official was acting in the interests of the criminal group called Greki ("Greeks"), whose member he was himself.

Despite the prosecution asked not to take the former mayor to the remand prison, the judge ruled to lock him up after all. She argued this by saying that if on the loose, Rostenko could try to abscond during the trial or interfere with the investigation.

Mr. Avdeev believes that the criminal case was unnecessary, and the decision could be canceled in a civil procedure. He also added that the events described in the case file dated back to 2015. The republic had just become part of Russia then and there were no public registers, Avdeev reminded. No damage has been done to anyone by Rostenko’s deed, since the plot was not seized, it was never fenced and nothing was built on it. It became the republic’s property only a month ago.

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