Deputy of the Legislative Assembly Vyacheslav Notyag arrested over bribery
Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Vyacheslav Notyag’s arrest by the Federal Security Service (FSB) officers under accusations in bribery - is the most topic news in the city. The Legislative Assembly was slightly shocked by the fact of the detention and the followed claim of another deputy – Maksim Reznikov – about the «black list» of 13 deputies, who are being target by servicemen. Now, the authorities don’t know whether to prepare deliveries into prison, or sent committeemen «under the mandate».Today the world of policy is filled with talks about political orders and repressions due to September elections.
An arrest of the 56-years-old deputy in April was out of the blue. According to firm official media release of the Investigative Committee (IC), the FSB officers detained the deputy in Zvezda restaurant in Kirovsky district. There he was allegedly receiving a bribe worth 600 thousands rubles from the Voin-V Company’s representatives. However, the investigation suspects that it was not the only tranche. The deputy is suspected to be using money of the constructors from November 2014 till April 2016. Every quarter he was demanding 300 thousands rubles for not interfering the company’s work. Thus, according to the investigation, the deputy managed to take about 900 thousands rubles from the constructors. It became a reason for initiating a criminal case over art. 290, para. 6 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – receiving a bribe on a large scale. On application of the investigation (and to the horror of all deputy corps) court sent Vyacheslav Notyaga under custody.
The Voin-V Company currently conducts housing construction under the program of renovation of Khrushchev-era houses’ in the 2 A Uliyanka block near the Aleksandrino Park. The renovation program has been conducting since 2008. By today there are only three houses built, while old buildings are still on their places. The Khrushchev-era houses are being rehoused very slowly. Historic preservation activists and the district’s residents are actively opposing the densification. They believe, that it could worsen the district’s quality of life and threaten the park. Last year the activists managed to convince the Supreme Court to cancel a planning design of the housing block between Aleksandrino Park, Stachek Avenue and Leni Golikova Street.Our
Oleg Glushenko graduated from the Higher Military & Engineering Naval Academynamed after admiral Kuznetsov. After serving in Russian army, he established a business. Glushenko headed Voin Construction Company in 2000. This construction firm is second strong company after Spb Renovatsii – conducts rehousing of Khrushchev-era houses. In 2008 Voin-V bought 22,7 ha in Uliyanka for 103,5 million rubles to build 12 houses of a total square 275 thousands square meters for 3 000 residents. The company has also built housing developments Chistiye Prudi, near Prospect Vernadscogo metro station, Villa Finlandiya in Kolomyagi and Severnaya Korona.
The company’s leader himself claimed that he was paying money to Notyag, so the deputy would not initiate inquiries towards the facilities built by the company. However, according to him, he was the one, who started to look for protection by deputies, when his firm experienced major problems. During his searches he found Vyacheslav Notyag. What is more, Notyag was not the one who threatened the constructors. It was his former teammate from Yabloko Party Boris Vishnevsky. He has been sending his requests to Smolny, helping resisters to organize meetings on regular basis and fighting with constructions in Uliyanka for more than 4 years. Notyag in his turn had not actually taken part in such activities in many years, though in past he used to support civil activism.Our
Vyacheslav Notyag was born in 1960 in Gus-Khrustalny in the Vladimir Region. In 2000 he took part on creating of Social-Democratic Youth Association in St. Petersburg. On 4 December, 2011 he was elected a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg from Yabloko Party. He soon was excluded from the party because of an internal conflict. After that he became an independent deputy. Since 2012 was a member of commission upon development of built-up areas of the St. Petersburg Government. Among its responsibilities there are also programs of renovation. In 2012-2014 the deputy actively cooperated with protectors of Aleksandrino Park.
Thus confrontation between Uliyanka residents and Voin-V Company had become chronic and irreconcilable long ago. The activists do not conceal their suspicions that the head of the Voin-V Company defrauds. They believe that Glushenko does not fulfill the provisions of the investment contract on purpose and also uses support of parliamentarians.
Crime and policy
Deputies could have outlasted the shock from their colleague’s detention way faster, if it had not been for a statement of another parliamentarian – oppositionist Maksim Reznik. Several days after the Notyag’s arrest, Reznik told that he obtained a reliable data that Russian servicemen have a list of 13 deputies, whose activities are being carefully tracked. In other words, those are the people, who will be next send to investigators’ cabinets. The choice of the law enforcement authorities also caused a lot of raised eyebrows because of its diversity. If among those 13 there were only rights and historic preservation activists from the opposition, people would not have been surprised. Especially considering the fact, that the event took place 4 months before elections. But the list included two members from Yabloko Party, two from Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia), three Spravedlivaya Rossiya (Fair Russia) Party supporters, two communists and four independent deputies.
Meanwhile, possible reasons for initiation of criminal proceedings are being actively discussed behind the scenes. The list contained following surnames: Boris Vishnevsky, Irina Ivanova, Aleksander Kobrinsky, Aleksey Kovalev, Irina Komolova, Aleksaey Makarov, Marina Shishkina, Sergey Trokhmanenko, Aleksey Palin, Sergey Nikeshin, Olga Galkina.
Two surnames among those mentioned have a clear criminal connotation and one – political. Among first to go to investigators is Sergey Nikeshin. According to rumors, the general manager of Voin-V mentioned him as one of his contacts in highest circles. However, now Voin would have to fight for his words, because parliamentarian’s lawyers are already preparing lawsuit for civil court. It seems that the deputy will insist on the fact that he was belied.
First version of a reason for criminal case initiation is secret deputies’ extortions from constructors. According to law enforcement agencies – receiving «gifts» from different construction companies was almost taken to the assembly line. Thus other high-profile cases are likely to come. According to available data, the extortion under the cover of hail suppression has existed for long time and the names of criminal deputies have been known in high-ranking circles, though they have not been announced to public.
The fact, that after Notyag’s detention, spokesman of the Parliament Vyacheslav Makarov hastily visited the head of the St. Petersburg Investigative Committee Aleksander Klaus shows that the situation is serious. No one knows what was the target of conversation between such significant for St. Petersburg figures.
Second version is closely connected to the first one – revenge to the historic preservation activists from construction companies. Activists headed by Boris Vishnevsky practically managed to stop the construction of high-rise building on the border of Aleksandrino Park (which is included in UNESCO list, as secured area). What is more, a month old scandal with development of Staropagolovsky housing estate has almost put a period to construction of 20-floors building of the Stroytrest Company. When constructors started to demolish the rehoused buildings, they closed off all paths and accesses routes. The citizens reacted vigorously – meetings, requests to the Сity Administration. Oppositionists of the construction have even closed off Morisa Toresa Avenue by processions with flyers. The construction company had already put up more than half a billion rubles, while the opposition activists were supported by the same Boris Vishnevsky.
According to rumors, activists, who suffered from the company’s activities the most just started to activate their connections in many administrative agencies, including those in law enforcement field. It is possible that the security services of these companies have a large blackmail material upon the historic preservation activists, which they are likely ready to use. This maybe confirmed by the fact, that deputy Maksim Reznikov is suspected in similar activities. Oleg Glushenko at a media conference for journalists claimed that the deputy has also received gain from the Voin-V Company. However Reznikov has not been called to the Investigative Committee yet.
The third version is entirely political. Firstly, teammates of the arrested people’s deputy are sure that the criminal proceeding against him is a political put-up job. Vyacheslav Notyag is a member of Maksim’s Reznikov non-formal faction. Both of them are close to spokesman Vyacheslav Makarov, who is an eye sore for the city administration, though he does not clearly oppose the St. Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko. People familiar with the matter believe that current membership of the Legislative Assembly headed by Makarov, is opposed to the official authorities more than ever. The administration, in its turn, dreams of a more loyal person for the post of spokesman and hopes to change the situation for its own benefit at the autumn elections.
That’s why political scientists consider Notyag’s arrest and suspicion in Reznik’s impurity as an authorities’ «hello» before the elections. Because the deputy’s arrest could not been conducted without the governor’s knowledge. Thus high-ranking persons actively discuss the fact that the story with the bribe is nothing else but a «trip» towards Vyacheslav Makarov. Because it is not a secret that many businessmen voluntarily pay their money to the parties’ cash desks to somehow maintain their communications with the deputy corps. Many large companies are simply paying all pre election spending to a friendly candidate.
Other experts tend to think that the mentioned events happened because «the stars aligned». Interests of the city administration, FSB and large city construction firms concurred. Besides, creation of the 13-people list is nothing else but a cue to deputies telling:«absence of your criminal record is not your merit, but our mistake».
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