FSO General Lopyrev to serve ten years for bribes
The General received bribes from construction companies amounting to 6.2 million rubles ($103.3 thousand) for contracts on Federal Guards Service’s (FSO) facilities in Sochi.
The Znamensky garrison military court found former security Chief of the FSO in the Caucasus, Lieutenant-General Gennady Lopyrev, guilty of bribe-taking worth over 6 million rubles ($100 thousand) (part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code), Kommersant reports. In addition, he was charged with Illegal Possession of Firearms (Art. 222). Lopyrev was sentenced to ten years in a strict-security colony and fined 150 million rubles ($2.5 m).
According to the investigation, the General received bribes for patronage at the conclusion of state contracts. In total there are two episodes in the case that took place between 2012 and 2014. In the first case, Lopyrev received 3 million rubles ($50 thousand), and in the second - 3.2 million rubles ($53.3 thousand) for the provision of contracts for the repair and construction of FSO facilities in Sochi. The money was transferred 17 times at the request of Deputy General Yury Zhilin, who died of cancer in the fall of 2016.
According to Lopyrev's defense, the latter points to the innocence of the General. Contracts were concluded by Zhilin. The Head of Alliance of XXI Century LLC, involved in the case, Dmitry Kiryushin, noted in his testimony that neither before the signing of the contract nor after there had been no demands for the transfer of bribes for Gennady Lopyrev. According to him, the demand to hand over the bank card with the money came from Yury Zhilin after signing the contract in 2012, and he immediately fulfilled it. Zhilin did not say who the money was intended for. In the future, Zhilin asked Kiryushin seven times to transfer money to the card, and Lopyrev's name was never mentioned. The lawyers also indicated that after the death of Yury Zhilin, the businessman met with the General several times and the latter did not make any financial demands.
The General Director of another construction company, Capricorn LLC, stated at the trial that Zhilin had required her to transfer money to him through an Alfa-Bank card if she counted on new contracts in the future. From then on, Zhilin named her the amount to be transferred, but the name of Lopyrev did not sound in this case as well.
Given these testimonies, the General's defense came to the conclusion that no evidence of his involvement in taking bribes was provided. As the lawyers note, the case has no data on the cards, to which, presumably, the funds were transferred. They were not found in the Moscow and St. Petersburg apartments of the General.
The defense announced its intention to appeal the verdict. It is noted that the court retained Lopyrev's title and decided against depriving him of awards. The previously arrested property holdings, except for 6 million rubles ($100 thousand) on the accounts, will be returned to him.
According to the Russian MIA’s spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, the detention of Russian woman Maria Butina in the US was specifically timed to coincide with the summit of Putin and Trump in order to minimize the effect of the presidents’ meeting.