Krasnoyarsk corrupt officials remain untouchable
Statements for strengthening of fight against corruption regularly sounded in the Krasnoyarsk Region at all levels. Periodically law enforcers arrest another official and loudly report on initiation of criminal case against him. But so far no Krasnoyarsk corrupt official was sent to prison for his crimes. All of them are on freedom, and many even managed to keep their positions. Should we wait for at least one real term for bribe takers?
After arrest of Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev in many regions of the country there were talks that it was the time for massive cleaning: arrest of the official of such level – signal that all others will stop being inviolable. However, in the Krasnoyarsk Region not many people believe that now corrupt officials will answer to the fullest extent of the law. Despite loud arrests and model investigations, so far no regional official was sent to prison. All of them are on freedom and some of them even continue successful career.
One of the most indicative examples – former Minister of Industry and Energy of the Krasnoyarsk Region Denis Pashkov. He was accused of swindle in the granting of public subsidies provision of government subsidies to the large local enterprise – CJSC PO Sibtyazhmash. Together with the director of this entity Pavel Lusnikov Pashkov stole 29,3 million from the budget money allocated to the plant. However, when the police became interested in the events, he immediately indemnified loss.
The investigation of Pashkov’s case lasted about one and a half year, a year more was spent on legal proceedings. In 2014 the Krasnoyarsk regional court, at last, found the ex-minister guilty in crime execution provided by part 4 Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Swindling on especially large scale). However, Pashkov’s punishment was extremely soft: only 5 years of imprisonment conditionally with a trial period three years. In sentencing the judge took into account all possible extenuating circumstances: poor health of the convicted person, presence of his two dependent minor children, and even excellent characteristics from the last place of work - administration of the Krasnoyarsk Region.
Photo: Denis Pashkov
In addition, Pashkov was inflicted penalty in the amount of 500 thousand rubles. According to the CrimeRussia’s source in the regional court, the official had to pay a sum several times bigger for such light sentence and not in rubles - in dollars. However, the huge amount of a bribe was not difficult for the corrupt official: millions of Sibtyazhmash costing Pashkov his career were only a part of a huge cash flow, which he controlled.
The Prosecutor's Office of the Krasnoyarsk Region appealed the verdict, attempting to achieve real term for Pashkov - 5 years of standard regime penal colony, but it failed. The decision was upheld. Pashkov did not admit his guilt. The Government of the Krasnoyarsk Region, the injured party, also refused to find the former colleague guilty, and counted a sentence for the corrupt official excessively strict.
Also the official, guilty in one of the most resonant tragic cases in Krasnoyarsk bailed remained on freedom. In August, 2013 the steel concrete retaining wall on Svobodny Avenue fell upon the carriageway and buried under itself a car with two passengers inside. Upon death of two people criminal case was initiated at once. During the investigation charge was brought to Oleg Goncherov, who at that time held a post of the head of department of municipal economy of administration of Krasnoyarsk. He was accused of crime execution provided by part 3 Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Neglect of duty, that is, the non-discharge by a functionary of his duties due to a dishonest and careless attitude to civil service, which has entailed by negligence the death of two or more persons). The maximum sanction under this article provides imprisonment for a period of up to 7 years. According to the investigators, Goncherov knew about the crack formed in the wall, however he undertook nothing to ensure safety of people and cars and also allowed work on this site without technical expertize.
Photo: Oleg Goncherov
In July, 2015 the Railway district court of Krasnoyarsk sentenced Goncherov to 5,5 years in colony settlement and, besides, obliged him to pay 500 thousand rubles (though accusation required 5 million rubles) to relatives of the people who died through his fault. Despite softness of the sentence, the official did not plead guilty, decided to seek full exoneration and filed an appeal to the Krasnoyarsk regional court. In November 2015 Goncherov’s sentence was reduced to 5 years, and then amnestied with removal of a criminal record according to the resolution of the State Duma of the Russian Federation “About the announcement of amnesty in connection with the 70 anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945”.
What is most interesting in January 2016, the responsible for fall of the wall on Svobodny Avenue was appointed a director of division of the Zhilfond managing company, largest in the city. The management of the company explained that in selecting candidates for this post it was considering extensive experience of Goncherov in the housing sector and his rich management skills. And in October, as the CrimeRussia already wrote, the Siberian generation company suggested to appoint the ex-deputy mayor, the chief executive of newly acquired LLC Krask, largest supplier of utilities in Krasnoyarsk. Thus, the official, whose negligence cost life to two Krasnoyarsk citizens, did not suffer neither career, nor reputation losses.
The case of the Deputy Mayor of Krasnoyarsk, former Head of the Department of town planning of the City Administration Andrey Lapitsky, also did not end with real term. He came into the view of police for the activities on his previous post – head of key design institute of Krasnoyarsk - OJSC Krasnoyarkgrazhdanproyekt. Lapitsky was accused of illegal obtaining of “golden parachute” in the amount of more than 1 million rubles in case of dismissal and also of developing documentation for reconstruction of theater of A. S. Pushkin for 20 million rubles, though the term of the license for similar activities at the institute headed by him expired long ago. For both crimes the official could be imprisoned for a period from 5 up to 10 years.
Photo: Andrey Lapitsky
In February, 2016 the Krasnoyarsk regional court completely acquitted Lapitsky on the first count. However, it found him guilty of the crime provided by item (f), part 2 of Art. 171 (Exercising business activities without registration or without a licence where such licence is obligatory, connected with deriving profits on a large scale). Punishment under this article is prescribed both in the form of a penalty, and in the form of imprisonment. The court limited the punishment to a small penalty − in the amount of 200 thousand rubles. After that Lapitsky was exempted from punishment directly in the courtroom: he was amnestied in compliance with all the same resolution of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, as Goncherov, - “About the announcement of amnesty in connection with the 70 anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945”. The criminal record was also removed from Lapitsky in the courtroom. However the official, who got off with nothing more than a fright, was dissatisfied with the sentence and even tried to achieve a complete justification – but he failed.
While Head of the Control Audit Chamber of Krasnoyarsk Galiya Fazleyeva managed not only to avoid punishment, she also nagged to keep her post. In 2014 the official was a defendant in two criminal cases. After check of Administration of the Federal Security Service of Russia a criminal case under part 3 Art. 160 of the CC RF was initiated against her (Misappropriation or Embezzlement by a person through his official position, as well as on a large scale). Fazleyeva was accused of waste of budgetary funds for the amount over 380 thousand rubles. Maximum punishment for this crime prescribed by the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation is an imprisonment for a period of up to six years. Then Fazleyeva was suspected of inflating her own salary and was accused under criminal case provided by part 1 Art. 286 of the CC RF (Exceeding Official Powers).
Photo: Galiya Fazleeva
The regional FSB managed to attain a temporary suspension of the conductress of the Control Audit Chamber from a post, she also had to sign recognizance not to leave. But in a year, after waiting for some time, deputies of the City Council of Krasnoyarsk stood up for Galiya Fazleyeva - they collected signatures under the open letter in her defense.
On September 20, 2016 Fazleyeva returned on a post of the Head of the Control Audit Chamber of Krasnoyarsk. Media service of the City Council commented on this appointment: “Investigator cancelled temporary discharge from a position and recognizance not to leave concerning her”. The destiny of two criminal cases brought against Fazleyeva is absolutely unknown. Perhaps, they are closed and sent to archive long ago.
So far it is unclear whether another criminal case, with one more regional official, is going to disappear completely - former Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Krasnoyarsk Region Elena Vavilova. In October of last year this lady was suspected of crime execution provided by part 2 Art. 286 of the CC RF (Exceeding Official Powers). According to the investigators, Vavilova organized illegal scheme of transfer of forest grounds to private hands on the minister's post. As a result of 800 thousand cubic meters of the wood was transferred to Federal Entity of the Krasnoyarsk Region Krasles. According to the CrimeRussia’s source in General Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Krasnoyarsk Region, the official got in trouble because of her love to luxury: attention of law enforcement agencies was drawn by the fact that the minister with rather low salary purchased a magnificent cottage in the elite settlement Udachny and also a premium class car. Security officers decided to find out from where Vavilova obtained such money and the first check gave its results sufficient for initiation of legal proceedings.
Photo: Elena Vavilova
As soon as this became known to the public, minister tried to explain the incident with intrigues by dissatisfied with her “fair work” entities of a forest industry and the case itself called “custom”. Vavilova even tried to reserve her position, but nevertheless was removed from it by the judgment of court till the end of the investigation. And though investigation lasts more than a year, it is still not clear: neither investigation department, nor prosecutor’s office, nor regional administration made no single official declaration about it. It is possible that they are just waiting until the public forgets about the scandal with Vavilova, so they could quietly close the criminal case. Perhaps, the former Minister will even manage to avoid punishment: why not if even corrupted officials of district scale in the Krasnoyarsk Region remain free with ease.
One of the most bright examples – case against former Acting Mayor of Nazarovo Igor Sukhorukov. In December, 2014 the administration of Nazarovo signed a purchase contract on placement of a kindergarten on the amount of 163 million rubles. After that Sukhorukov addressed the intermediary with the offer to transfer him 10% of the cost of the contract. When the official received first tranche in the amount of 300 thousand rubles, the city administration transferred money to account of the builder. And soon second part of the bribe was transferred to Sukhorukov - in the amount of 1,5 million rubles.
Photo: Igor Sukhorukov
In July, 2015 the official was found guilty of crime execution provided by part 6 Art. 290 (Bribe-Taking by the official on especially large scale). However the judge decided not to imprison Sukhorukov for a period from 8 up to 15 years, as it is provided by this article, but to sentence him to a penalty in the amount of 3 million rubles. The prosecutor's office reasonably counted the sentence as too soft and demanded to increase the penalty amount at least to 9 million rubles (part 6 Art. 290 of the CC RF generally prescribes mulctary punishment in the amount of a bribe, eightyfold to the hundredfold amount). The court lifted a penalty to 8,4 million rubles, and then declared the bribe taker bankrupt, freeing him thus from having to pay for his crime.
But the Krasnoyarsk Themis was more kind to Anatoly Kerzik, the Head of the Shushensky district. In August, 2010 this official bought the award Slava Stolypina for the budget 97 thousand rubles and in 2013 was under investigation because of it.
In 2014 the court found the official guilty in crime execution provided by part 2 Art. 286 of the CC RF (Exceeding Official Powers) and imposed him penalty in the form of 2 years of imprisonment conditionally. However it amnestied him right there with removal of a criminal record. As a result in July, 2015 Kerzik safely returned on his post, because as legally not judged was elected the Head of the Shushensky district again.
Photo: Nadezhda Marshalkina
Other Krasnoyarsk official who is arrested today and is behind bars – former Minister of economic development of the Krasnoyarsk Region Nadezhda Marshalkina. This lady is accused of taking two bribes on especially large scale (part 6 Art. 290 of the CC RF), which amounts constitute 17 and 55 million rubles, and also in two falsifications of the Unified State Register of Legal Entities (part 1 Art. 170.1 of the CC RF) and two falsifications of decisions of general meeting of participants of economic society (part 1 Art. 185.5 of the CC RF). Perhaps, this case was also possible to “hush up”: on the Presidential Council for Countering Corruption Marshalkina's case in the presence of Putin was called “one of the loudest cases of violations of the law in regions of Russia”. Therefore the risk in this case is too high and the investigation continues. Continues second year, slowly, but still, and will probably soon be taken to court. It is still unclear whether the bribetaker will end behind the bars or the court will limit by penalty and amnesty again. f to judge by affairs of colleagues of the Krasnoyarsk official, most likely, corruption in the case of Marshalkina will remain conditionally punishable.
After scaring Dagestan with inspections, arrests, and searches, the interdepartmental commission of the Prosecutor General’s Office and ICR has identified key priorities for the regional watchdog authority. After the crackdown on the old clan-based system, the management reforms became more constructive – however, another wave of criminal cases, terminations, and arrests is expected in the republic. The CrimeRussia was figuring out what other Dagestani officials are currently at risk.