Ex-Minister of Astrakhan region housing and utility sector Viktor Yakovlev sent under house arrest
After signing the payment of 12 million rubles ($2.1mln) to the contractor's reconstruction of treatment facilities for uncompleted work, the minister left the inhabitants of two villages without drinking water.
The Kirov District Court of Astrakhan has placed former Deputy Chairman of the Astrakhan region government on the functioning of life support and environmental safety systems Viktor Yakovlev under house arrest. According to the regional ICR Investigations Directorate, the ex-minister will stay under house arrest until June 19.
Viktor Yakovlev has been charged with part 3 of Art. 285 of the Russian Criminal Code (Abuse of official powers resulting in grave consequences).
As Minister of housing and utility sector, Viktor Yakovlev supervised the implementation of the state program Chistaya Voda (‘Clean Water’) for 2010-2014 in the region, approved by the regional government resolution No.258-P of June 21, 2010. The total amount of funding for this program exceeded 16 billion 653 million rubles ($300mln), out of which 7 billion rubles ($123mln) were allocated from the federal budget. These funds were intended for performing large-scale activities to provide residents of the Astrakhan region villages with drinking water.
According to the investigation, in 2010, using his official powers against the service’s interests, the accused signed payment documents and made the full payment to the company, which reconstructed water treatment facilities in the villages Ikryanoe and Maechnoe, Ikryansky district.
The Investigations Directorate noted that Yakovlev knew for sure that the Kanalvodstroy Production and Commercial Company LLC have not been completed. Moreover, the facilities provided by the program, have not yet been commissioned, due to which the villagers remain without drinking water.
The criminal case against Yakovlev was initiated in autumn 2016. The investigation estimated the damage from the former official’s illegal actions at 50 million rubles ($884,700).
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The 55-year-old spouses Shevchenko and their 29-year-old son were engaged in construction business and trade in jewelry. In addition to the criminal redistribution of business, the investigation does not rule out robbery.