More money: Leonid Markelov covets $4.4 million

More money: Leonid Markelov covets $4.4 million
Leonid Markelov

According to RBC, the ex-Governor is suspected of trying to take a bribe of 250 million rubles ($4.4m) from businessman Nikolay Krivashin. The latter allegedly promised to transfer illegal monetary compensation by fictitious purchase of shares of greenhouse facility controlled by Markelov.

Ex-Governor of the Mari El Republic Leonid Markelov is accused of attempting to take a bribe in the amount of 250 million rubles ($4.4m). The criminal case, the former official is involved in, was brought under three articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation: part 6 of Art. 290 (Bribe-Taking on an especially large scale), part 5 of Art. 291 (Bribe-Giving on an especially large scale) and Art. 291.1 (Mediation in bribery).

This is reported by the media with reference to Markelov's lawyer Igor Trunov.

The lawyer said that there were three defendants in the criminal case. In addition to the ex-Governor, they are well-known Mari businessman Nikolay Krivashin and Maria Kozhevnikova, Head of local TV channel 12th region. According to RBC, Markelov is suspected of trying to get a bribe of 250 million rubles ($44 m) from Krivashin. The latter allegedly promised to transfer the illegal monetary compensation by fictitious purchase of shares of the greenhouse facility controlled by Markelov.

Currently law enforcement officers are conducting searches in the Moscow apartment of the wife and daughter of the ex-official. According to the lawyer, in the near future his client can be sent to Moscow for investigation.

As reported by RIA Novosti, searches are also taking place in the building of the government of the republic. Eyewitnesses claim that the siloviki are taking out boxes in which the documentation presumably is. Markelov himself, according to publication 7x7, is under interrogation in the building of the FSB.

Markelov has been heading the Mari El since 2001. In 2015 Vladimir Putin extended his powers at the post by appointing him as acting. During his leadership he was involved in several high-profile scandals related to the sale of state property. Activists of the All-Russia People’s Front have revealed the facts of selling and renting buildings and plots in nature reserves at a subsidized cost. Verification of these facts (in particular, the sale of the building of the Museum of Public Education for 84.7 thousand rubles ($1.5 thousand), the premises in the 11-storey building for 1.9 million rubles ($33.5 thousand), the property of state road construction company Mariiskavtodor JSC, owned by the Federal Property Agency) has not caused any reaction from the local authorities.

On April, 6 the Russian President removed Markelov from the post of the Mari El Head. Then the media reported that the former official expressed the desire to continue his career in civil service as a senator in the Federation Council.

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