Deputy of Legislative Assembly to take responsibility for her assitants
A member of Edinaya Rossiya, Svetlana Nesterova was arrested on suspicion of fraud. Charges have not been brought yet.
Svetlana Nesterova, a Deputy of the Legislative Assembly and a member of Edinaya Russiya has been detained in St. Petersburg. She is suspected of large scale fraud. Her former have assistants, already granted probation, testified against her.
Charges have not yet been brought against her. However, her lawyer Andrei Makarkin believes that the prosecution will ask for her arrest on the 22nd or 23rd of June. The Deputy pleaded not guilty.
The Deputy’s assistants Tatiana Kitova and Vera Shishkina were arrested in October 2015 and in early June received suspended sentences, four years’ probation, for charges of complicity in fraud. In addition, the Court ordered the defendants to pay fines of 100 and 120 thousand rubles.
Investigative Committee has established that the women stole 25 million rubles. The funds were allocated by the Committee for Social Policy of Legislative Assembly after the enabling amendment to the budget was introduced by Nesterova. According to the documents, the funds were disbursed to Solnechny veter and Edelweiss to help veterans, pensioners and indigents. However, in reality only a small part of this money actually went to their beneficiaries. In addition, the defendants made false financial reports. As soon as the court began the trial of Tatiana Kitova and Vera Shishkina, Nesterova went to the hospital. Nevertheless, her criminal case had been made a separate proceeding; the investigation in her case continued.
This is about an amendment by a Committee on Budget and Finance. According to an amendment, the deputies can allocate 1 billion rubles on their own within the terms of an approved budget. Such rules had been construed by Anatoly Sobchak. It is assumed that those who vote for the Budget Bill earn the right to participate in its revision on second reading. The bulk of funds commonly move to the Committee for Social Policy - to reimburse the expenses of non-profit organizations.The Legislative Assembly calls for bids to ascertain which organizations get the money.
In spite of the criminal case, Nesterova once again received an appropriation in 2016, and has allocated 500 thousand rubles to the Committee on Social Policy, and 300 thousand to the media coverage of activities of the agency. The rest of the appropriation amounted to 48 million rubles.
In the recent primaries of Edinaya Russiya on June 11, Svetlana Nesterova passed the selection quietly, conceding the victory to the deputy Elena Rahova and took 2nd place in the 7th constituency. Her colleagues said that the Deputy shouldn't be responsible for her assistants.
But, most likely, a possible 2-month detention can preclude Nesterova from running for the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg. After the detention, the suspect was taken for a medical examination to the hospital. According to the doctor's opinion, the Deputy can be in a jail: her health is not in danger.
On the morning of June 21 Russian Federal Security Service officers came to the Svetlana Nesterova's apartment on Oktyabrskaya Embankment. At the same time, the Economic Security Service also searched the apartment and a country house of the Deputy's daughter.
Nesterova’s personal belongings were seized during the searches, which, according to her counsel, will have little impact on the investigation.
Counsel for Nesterova is collecting evidence to confirm that the deputy can't stand imprisonment in a pretrial detention center. Makarkin's argument is that the suspect is in poor health.
Nesterova is already the second parliamentarian of the Legislative Assembly, who has attracted attention of the Investigative Committee and Russian Federal Security Service. Two months earlier, Vyacheslav Notyag was accused of accepting bribes from Oleg Glushchenko, Head of Voin-V, a construction company. On June 20 a preventive measure for Notyag was changed to house arrest for reasons of health - he'd had a stroke.
Rosfinmonitoring (Federal Financial Monitoring Service) analyzed the data of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers and discovered thousands of offshore companies through which the Russians laundered billions of rubles. Materials on deputies and governors were handed over to law enforcers.
A spokesperson of the Prosecutor's office said that the ECHR had not studied all the materials of the criminal case, so they were offered not to overturn the verdict, but to send the case for a new review in court.