Former Governor of Mari El asked Putin for pardon in verse
Leonid Markelov has written poems since the school days; since 2010, it has become a tradition for him to declare poems at the end of meetings of heads of districts and other government meetings.
Former head of Mari El Leonid Markelov, arrested on charges of taking a bribe in the amount of 235 million rubles ($3.9 million), has appealed to President of Russia Vladimir Putin in verse. Dozhd TV Channel has posted the full text of the letter.
“Giving up everything in this world,
I was ready to serve you,
And now my children
Got no means to live,” says the former governor.
The letter to Putin was written on May 27. However, members of the Public Monitoring Commission received it only now, after it underwent the investigation’s censorship.
Leonid Markelov built palaces and Italian embankments in Yoshkar-Ola
Let us recall that in early April, Vladimir Putin retired the head of Mari El. The criminal case against Leonid Markelov was initiated on April 12, and the next day, the ex-head of Mari El was detained in his palace in Yoshkar-Ola. April 14, he was charged with Bribe-taking on an especially large scale (part 6, article 290 of the Criminal Code), after which he was escorted to Moscow for the election of a preventive measure and further investigative measures.
Kremlin in Yoshkar-Ola built during Markelov's administration
According to the prosecution, the Mari El governor received over 235 million rubles as a bribe from founder of the Akashevskaya factory OJSC Krivash through trustee Natalia Kozhanova. For this amount, the former governor had promised patronage and state support for the agricultural complex development.
As part of this criminal case, Leonid Markelov and his accomplices face up to 15 years of imprisonment and fines of half a billion rubles ($8.4 million).
Markelov, famous for his love of art, is currently in the Moscow detention center of Lefortovo, where he still writes poetry. Leonid Markelov has written poems since the school days, and since 2010, he has made it a habit to read out his new verses to his subordinates at meetings.
The former governor does not plead guilty, confirming this in his poem.
− You’re Markelov, right? Did you take the bribe?
− Who told you that? Let me make it clear.
I didn’t take the bribe.
They bought my friends’ agricultural holding,
And were in charge of it for many years.
This transaction is my answer.
All taxes paid via our current account.
You need to understand. I’m no idiot, after all.
Meanwhile, residents of Yoshkar-Ola also respond to their former governor with online poems. Here is one of them:
We won’t hear him taking the floor anymore,
He was there for 16 years and now he’s gone.
Goodbye our dear Lyonya Markelov,
It’s time for you to fell trees in taiga.
On September 21, kingpin Vladimir Vagin, aka Vagon, hanged himself. Two years earlier another thief in law Max Pioner also committed suicide. Vagon's lawyer does not believe in the version of suicide and intends to apply for a forensic medical examination.