Nizhny Novgorod: Ex-chief of ICR Investigations Directorate accused of causing $674.000 damage to budget

Nizhny Novgorod: Ex-chief of ICR Investigations Directorate accused of causing $674.000 damage to budget
Vladimir Stravinskas

Previously known as a staunch fighter against corruption, General Lieutenant of Justice Vladimir Stravinskas turned out to be a defendant in a 3-year-old criminal case investigated in Nizhny Novgorod.

Former Chief of the ICR Investigations Directorate in the Nizhny Novgorod region Vladimir Stravinskas is charged with abuse of official powers and causing grave consequences during the reconstruction of the Nizhny Novgorod Investigations Directorate building in 2012.

According to Kommersant, the regional investigative department had transferred to the St. Petersburg company MSM LLC 148 million rubles ($2.4 million) under the terms of the state contract, inter alia paying for unfulfilled work. The general contractor soon went bankrupt; the budget suffered a damage of 40 million rubles ($674 thousand), while underpaying more than 30 million rubles ($506 thousand) to the subcontractor Nizhegorodgazsbyt. Currently, the subcontractor unsuccessfully tries to obtain recognition as an injured party in the framework of the criminal case, the publication notes.

The criminal case has been initiated against Chief of the ICR Investigations Directorate Vladimir Stravinskas, who used to head the regional ICR since 2007 and early retired in February 2015. In addition, the investigation suspects "unidentified persons" from the MSM LLC management of large swindling, however, the top managers of the long-dissolved company are not defendants in the case yet. 

The outlet notes that the investigation was suspended when General Stravinskas appealed the institution of criminal proceedings in the district court in September 2015. However, the decision in favor of the general was later abolished in the higher courts, and the investigation resumed.

After receiving expert assessment, according to which the damage amounted to 40 million rubles, the former chief of the ICR Investigations Directorate in the Nizhny Novgorod region began to testify and is now participating in face-to-face confrontations with former subordinates who supervised the construction.

The subcontractor Nizhegorodgazsbyt had tried to collect damages for work in excess of the contract (a number of necessary works were not initially included in the design specifications and estimates; for example, entrances to the building and a part of the fire extinguishing systems) in the amount of 30.5 million rubles in the regional arbitration court. However, the company’s claim was dismissed with a note that there had been no contractual relations between the subcontractor and the investigation department. In court, representatives of the ICR Investigations Directorate reported that they had paid MSM LLC in full and had no right to transfer money under the state contract to someone other than the general contractor.

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