Mari El Republic Governor's ex-wife and stepmother testifying against him

Mari El Republic Governor's ex-wife and stepmother testifying against him
Leonid and Irina Markelovs

The former wife and stepmother of the Mari El Governor told about his participation in local business.

The former wife and stepmother of Leonid Markelov testified in the ICR, telling about the influence of the ex-Head of the republic on local enterprises, Kommersant reports.

Irina Markelova – the ex-spouse of the accused – said that since the beginning of the 2000s she has worked as Deputy Director of Mari advertising agency Telekompaniya 12th region LLC. In 2005 her husband made her an ‘unexpected offer’. He said that the region lacked a large enterprise for the construction of living houses, and proposed her firm to occupy this niche. From that moment Telekompaniya started to be engaged in construction business.

The volume of the company's business and profits skyrocketed; the company began to acquire assets. Among them were Iyun 2006 LLC and Mariysky Tsement LLC, 50% of Chukshinsky Karyer LLC, 51% of Mariyskaya Independent Broadcasting Corporation LLC, and 80% of one of the largest agricultural enterprises Teplichnoye OJSC.

Markelova claims she was the figurehead of the company, not getting to the bottom of business processes; they were "too large and complex" for her. According to Markelova, Natalya Kozhanova, the general Director of Telekompaniya was the real leader. However, the ex-wife of the ex-governor noted that the profits from the acquired firms were distributed among members of their family. The words of the ex-wife of the governor are confirmed by documents: according to the income declaration, in 2012 Markelova, having 1% of shares in Telekompaniya, earned 46 million rubles ($807.6 thousand).

According to Markelova, her ex-husband did not participate directly in business development, but "oversaw its development, manipulated it, if you like".

In 2012 Markelovs divorced, which led to changes in the pattern of doing business. Because of this the ex-governor offered his stepmother to re-register all the assets and property of the ex-wife to her. At the request of the stepchild Tatyana Markelova also registered companies Kardinal LLC and Voskresensky Park LLC on herself.

It is worth mentioning that at the moment the court arrested 23 real estate objects of the Markelov family for a total sum of 1 billion rubles ($17.5m).

April 6, 2017 witnessed Leonid Markelov voluntarily resigning from the governor post, and a week later he was detained and transferred to Moscow. The former Head of the region is accused of Bribe-Taking on an especially large scale (part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code), and his acquaintance Natalya Kozhanova – of Mediation In Bribery (part 4 of Art. 291.1 of the Criminal Code). The third person involved in the case was the former co-owner of agricultural enterprise Akashevskaya Poultry Farm OJSC, Nikolay Krivash, who, according to the investigation, acted as a bribe-taker. So far he could not be detained, as Krivash went to Israel for treatment and was arrested in absentia.

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