Family of ex-Nizhny Novgorod mayor arrested for $1mln bribe flees Russia

Family of ex-Nizhny Novgorod mayor arrested for $1mln bribe flees Russia
Oleg Sorokin and Elada Nagornaya

Several years ago, owner of two dozen companies and media sources Elada Nagornaya was called the richest wife of an official. Now her husband Oleg Sorokin is in a pre-trial detention center, and she has successfully left for Europe with other family members.

The wife of former Vice Speaker of the Nizhny Novgorod Region Parliament and Nizhny Novgorod Mayor Oleg Sorokin, detained in late 2017 on suspicion of taking a bribe of $1 million, has left Russia together with her son Nikita.

Mash notes that according to the official version, Elada Nagornaya – whom the media called the richest wife of an official based on her income declaration several years ago – is currently being treated in Europe.

The departure of Elada Nagornaya and her son Nikita Sorokin came to light on February 15, when it turned out that the investigation was unable to question Oleg Sorokin’s wife and son as witnesses in the criminal case against the former mayor of Nizhny Novgorod, since they were not in Russia.

On the same day, during a court session on the extension of Oleg Sorokin’s arrest, vice speaker’s mother-in-law Elena Nagornaya, who is currently abroad together with her daughter and grandson, offered to pay a deposit of 50 million rubles ($886,500) for him. Kommersant notes that she sent the application for bail via DHL.

Meanwhile, the court granted the investigation’s request to leave Oleg Sorokin under arrest, extending his term in the pre-trial detention center until May 17. Some sources report that this is primarily due to the fact that his family is abroad and is not going to return.

To recall, Vice Speaker of the Nizhny Novgorod Region Parliament Oleg Sorokin was detained and then arrested until December 20. His country houses were searched, revealing and seizing 1.5 billion rubles ($26.5 million), although Sorokin's lawyers deny this. Sorokin is accused of taking bribes “in the form of illegal provision of services of a property nature on an especially large scale for general patronage and connivance in the service.” According to the information disseminated by the joint press service of general jurisdiction courts in the Nizhny Novgorod region, Sorokin is suspected of receiving $1 million. 

It is noteworthy that Oleg Sorokin’s wife Elada Nagornaya gained notoriety on a federal scale in 2013. At the end of the year, the income of Oleg Sorokin as head of the city amounted to 168 million rubles ($2.9 million), while his wife Elada Nagornaya brought 1 billion 734 million 441 thousand rubles ($30.7 million). 1.5 billion of this amount accounted to income from entrepreneurial activities. Elada Nagornaya has co-founded about 25 companies. Last year, Nagornaya had a house, three apartments, seven garages, 15 land plots, 43 non-residential premises (shops, shopping complexes and more than a dozen elite cars in her possession, including in France, where the Sorokin-Nagornay family has expensive real estate.

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