New face in Spetsstroy former Deputy Head case – his legal adviser

New face in Spetsstroy former Deputy Head case – his legal adviser
Alexander Zagorulko

Investigators believe that Moscow lawyer Leonid Melnik could be aware of the criminal schemes of Alexander Zagorulko.⁠

A new person may appear in the case of multi-million theft in the Federal Agency for Special Construction (Spetsstroy). According to Kommersant, the Investigative Committee intends to interrogate legal adviser of former First Deputy Director of Spetsstroy Alexander Zagorulko – Leonid Melnik. At the moment the Moscow lawyer interests the investigation as a witness, however it is possible that in the end he may become a defendant as well. Perhaps being afraid of this, Melnik does not appear at interrogations. Investigators believe that the lawyer allegedly could provide his client not only with legal services, but also perform intermediary functions in building informal relations with contractors.

Zagorulko, arrested in November 2016, is charged with Swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code). In this case also includes his colleague, another former Deputy Head of Spetsstroy Alexander Buryakov and a number of contractors. According to the investigation, the defendants of the case abducted funds from the state budget during the construction and reconstruction of the facilities of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The amount of theft amounted to 450 million rubles ($7.8m).

In addition, Alexander Zagorulko is charged under part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code (Bribe-Taking on an especially large scale). During hearings in court on legality of prolonging the arrest of the official it became known, that he is accused of receiving two cars as bribes.

"Zagorulko is changed with bribe-taking in the amount of from 5 to 10% of the contracts. As bribes he received a rare car Volga worth 1.5 million rubles ($26 thou.) and a Lexus 470 worth 4.5 million rubles ($78 thousand)", – the materials read by the Prosecutor state.

According to the Prosecutor, this is evidenced by the testimony of three other defendants. It is not excluded that the main evidence was the testimony of Zagorulko’s colleague – former Deputy Director of Spetsstroy Alexander Buryakov. As The CrimeRussia has previously reported, the latter concluded a deal with the investigation between January and February 2017. Buryakov said that the first Deputy Head of Spetsstroy received payoffs for signing major contracts with contractors. As for Alexander Buryakov himself, the military investigation succeeded in transferring the defendant of the case from the detention center to house arrest. Zagorulko's lawyers also repeatedly petitioned for a more lenient preventive punishment for their client, but the court remains adamant. The defense indicated the health problems of the accused – in January 2017 Zagorulko suffered a myocardial infarction and underwent treatment at Matrosskaya Tishina detention center hospital. In addition, according to sources of our publication, in March of this year the convict tried to hang himself in the cell of the detention center. The remand center staff managed to prevent the suicide of the prisoner. However, the lawyer of the accused denies the information received by The CrimeRussia, which was confirmed by several sources.

"I had a word with the investigator, who assured me that there was and had been no reason to talk about my client's suicidal intentions", – lawyer Valery Obedkov told Kommersant.

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