Ex-Governor Yurchenko's mansion searched as part of criminal case against his wife
In addition to Vasily Yurchenko, who is accused of abuse of authority, his wife and son are under investigation in various criminal cases.
Employees of the Investigative Committee conducted searches in the apartment and country house of the former governor of the Novosibirsk region, Vasily Yurchenko, in Novosibirsk, as well as in his son Dmitry's apartment in Moscow, Kommersant reports.
According to the official version, investigative measures were carried out in connection with a case of the wife of ex-governor, Natalia Yurchenko, suspected of a crime in the migration sphere. The ground for the search was the sanction of the Central District Court of Novosibirsk as of July 7.
It follows from the materials of the case of Natalia Yurchenko that after receiving a three-year residence permit in Austria, the so-called Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte plus, in November 2014, Vasily Yurchenko's wife did not notify the Russian migration service about this.
The case against Natalia Yurchenko is investigated under Art. 330.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Failure to comply with the obligation to file a notice of the presence of citizenship of a foreign state or residence permit) for more than a year. The investigators took a written undertaking not to leave the place. At the same time, the wife of the ex-head of the region states that she sent the notice of the residence permit in Austria to the Federal Migration Service.
Vasily and Natalia Yurchenko
It is worth noting that the fact that Natalia Yurchenko has Austrian residence permit was revealed only after a search in a rented apartment of Natalia Yurchenko in Moscow, which she rented with her son Dmitry. The search was related to the criminal case against Dmitry on the theft of 150 million rubles ($2.5m) from the budget of the Novosibirsk region, allocated for the construction of an industrial and logistics park. Dmitry Yurchenko was one of its managers.
Meanwhile, the defenders of the former governor, whose criminal trial is in the final stage, believe that the search in the wife's case was a formal cover for other purposes.
According to lawyer Alexander Balian, during the search, which lasted about 2.5 hours, the investigators seized materials that the defense intended to use for preparation for the forthcoming judicial debate in Vasily Yurchenko's case - all electronic media and notebooks.
One of the country houses of Vasily Yurchenko
In addition, the lawyer believes, the siloviki had to demonstrate their vigorous activity before another extension of the investigation period in the case of Natalya Yurchenko, who accuses the investigation of inaction.
The trial in the case of Vasily Yurchenko has been lasting since 2015 and currently remains ongoing. The former governor of the Novosibirsk region was removed from office by President Vladimir Putin in connection with the loss of confidence in 2014. Two criminal cases were brought against him on Exceeding Official Powers (part 2 of Art. 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Yurchenko, who may face up to 7 years of imprisonment, is accused of selling land in the center of Novosibirsk at a lower cost. According to the version of the Investigative Committee, as a result of Yurchenko's actions, the budget was damaged in the amount of about 17.7 million rubles ($298.5 thousand). The former governor does not admit his guilt.
The special services believe that Russian Interior Ministry officials could have cooperated with the press to sell passport applications and border-crossing data of the two men suspected of poisoning the Skripals in Salisbury.