Ex-head of Regional Interior Ministry Directorate sentenced to 3 years in prison
Frunze District Court of Ivanovo has condemned the former chief of the Russian Interior Ministry Directorate in the Ivanovo Region, Alexander Nikitin, and former head of the department of major construction of the same directorate, Alexey Sheyenkov. The court has established that since 2013, Nikitin and Sheyenkov repeatedly violated the requirements of the state contract for equipping the new building of the Interior Ministry Directorate in the Ivanovo Region, and squandered public money.
Alexander Nikitin has been convicted under art. 286 of the Russian Criminal Code (abuse of power). Alexey Sheyenkov has also been convicted under art. 292 of the Russian Criminal Code (forgery by an official).
The court established that since 2013, the former high-ranking officers of the regional police had violated the requirements of the state contract for the development of a new administrative building of the Interior Ministry in Ivanovo. More than 90 million rubles had been allocated to create information security systems and ensure protection. In the end, they were spent on equipping private offices of Alexander Nikitin and his deputies, on costly fit-out works, and on the acquisition of luxury furniture, which had not been stipulated by the contract. The investigators claim that due to this abuse of power, the new building of the Interior Ministry Directorate has not been commissioned yet.
Under the court decision, Alexander Nikitin was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment in a general penal colony. However, the court was more sympathetic to Nikitin’s former colleague Sheyenkov, who was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for his cooperation with the investigation. Both prisoners were deprived of the right to hold public office for a period of 1 year.
As a reminder, Alexander Nikitin was released from his office in December 2014. Ex-head of Russian Interior Ministry Directorate in the Ivanovo Region claimed that the criminal case against him was connected to the scandal with Denis Sugrobov. Nikitin insisted that the prosecution had begun after he had vouched for Sugrobov, Former Chief of General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting Corruption (GAESCC).
Previously, the lawyers of the demoted police officers claimed that all the work in the Interior Ministry Directorate building was consistent with cost and design estimates and did not go beyond the allocated budget. The building itself, they insisted, was almost ready to be commissioned. Moreover, during the arguments in the Ivanovo District Court in May 2016, it turned out that expensive wall-paintings were actually quite modest, and that the officers had spent their own money to purchase them. Besides, the costly furniture, which Nikitin allegedly put in his office, had been neither received nor paid for by the Interior Ministry Directorate.
Nikitin's lawyer Ayrat Khikmatullin reported that all the evidence submitted to the court proved the innocence of the defendants. The evidence also pointed to the fact that the expert opinion rendered in the course of the investigation, had been carried out poorly and could not be considered reliable. However, the court disregarded these arguments when rendering a verdict.