Leonid Markelov gets $4.2m for protection racket of poultry factory
President of Region 12 TV channel Natalia Kozhanova was the confidante who passed the bribe to the ex-Head of Mari El.
According to the updated information, the former governor of Mari El Leonid Markelov got a bribe of 235 million rubles ($4.2m) from the founder of Akashevskaya poultry factory Nikolai Krivash, stated the official website of the Investigative Committee. According to the investigation, the businessman paid to the ex-Head of the Republic "for patronage and assistance with the property payment of state support for the development of the agricultural complex." In other words, he paid for protection and patronage.
The investigation believes that President of Region 12 TV channel Natalia Kozhanova was the intermediary in bribe transfer, being Markelov’s confidante.
The report said that Markelov, Kozhanova and Krivash were detained in a joint operation of the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service. All of them are involved in a criminal case initiated on the basis of the crimes under part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code (Bribe-Taking), part 5 of Art. 291 of the Criminal Code (Bribe-Giving), and part 4 of Art. 291.1 of the Criminal Code (Mediation in Bribery).
At the moment, investigators are conducting searches at the workplaces of the defendants and in their houses as well as in the houses of their families. Markelov, Kozhanova and Krivash are going to be charged and convicted soon.
Former Head of Mari El Leonid Markelov was detained on the morning of April 13, after the Russian President dismissed him on April 6. Initially, it was reported that Markelov had himself asked for a resignation, but now newspapers write that he lost his job on suspicion of bribery.
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