Former Astrakhan Social Development Minister to pay 52 million in fine and go to prison
The senior official has been sentenced to 4 years in prison and a fine. The investigation has found out that she was extorting money from heads of agencies for protection.
Former Minister of Social Development and Labor of the Astrakhan Region, Ekaterina Lukyanenko, was sentenced to 4 years in a penal colony and a fine of 52 million rubles. The decision was handed down on June 30 by a court in the Astrakhan Region. The official stood accused of taking bribes in the form of money for the overall protection and connivance in the service (art. 290 para. 6 of the Russian Criminal Code).
Investigators believe that Lukyanenko demanded from one of her subordinates to collect 700 thousand rubles from the heads of agencies within the Ministry’s jurisdiction. In return, the official promised her protection, subsequent bonuses, and not to take disciplinary actions for misconduct.
On May 5, 2015, Lukyanenko was caught red-handed during transfer of part of a bribe in the amount of 260 thousand rubles. On the same day, she was released from office of deputy chairman of the regional government's Ministry of Social Development and Labor "due to loss of the governor’s confidence." On May 6, Lukyanenko was detained.
The defendant pleaded not guilty and asked to acquit her, reminding the court of her merits, as well as referring to poor health.
The state prosecution asked to sentence Lukyanenko to 9 years in prison and a fine of 152 755 million rubles, while the defense insisted on a full acquittal.
The defendant's lawyer Alexander Moiseyenko has not yet made a decision on an appeal against the sentence. In the nearest future, he is going to discuss this matter with his client.
As a reminder, in late 2014, the court sentenced the former mayor of Astrakhan Mikhail Stolyarov to 9 years in prison and a fine of 500 million rubles for a bribe of 10 million rubles for the lease of land. Ex-mayor refused to plead guilty. In June 2015, the court stopped the prosecution of the former regional Minister of Agriculture Ivan Nesterenko due to expiration of the limitation period. Nesterenko was accused of negligence, which caused damage to the state budget in the amount of 30 million rubles.
Last week, the entire world has celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Internet. In the meantime, the Russian legislators have adopted new laws restricting the development of the Russian-speaking segment of the world wide web. The 'fake news' and 'internet insults' laws adopted under the pretext of protecting the society from manipulations and threat, including external ones, violate the Constitution and some federal laws in relation to the right to search for, obtain, and use information. Furthermore, the bill on ‘sovereign Internet’ passed in the first reading by the State Duma leads us directly to self-isolation.