Reporters kicked out during trial of Defense Ministry ex-official Dmitry Nedobor
On October 28 the hearing of the corruption case against ex-official of the Russian Defence Ministry, Dmitry Nedobor, began in the Ostankino Court of Moscow.
The former Head of the Ministry’s audit department of public procurement stands accused of trying to receive a bribe worth 48 million rubles. The other defendants in the case are a businessman Gennady Bauman and a former policeman Yuri Davydov. All of them refuse to plead guilty.
It should be noted that during the questioning of the defendants involved in the case, their lawyers demanded to remove media representatives from the court in order to protect the privacy of their clients. The next court session is scheduled for November 2.
Investigators have established that last year the Research Institute for Communication and control systems (NIISSUU) planned to obtain a state order for the production and subsequent delivery of a mobile-stationary control system for the special operations by airborne forces. Under this contract, the institute estimated the cost of future work at 6.2 billion rubles. At the same time, investigators believe that Dmitry Nedobor insisted on reducing the cost down to 4.9 billion rubles, which is 21% below the one stipulated in the document. Developers refused that offer, calling it unacceptable and saying that the proposed cost was much less than the cost of planned activities.
Afterwards, the Head of NIISSUU planning and economic department Roman Pakharenko addressed law enforcement agencies. He claimed that during negotiations, the institute management was proposed favorable terms and a reduction in price down to 5.3 billion rubles. For that they had to pay a certain person.
Investigators believe that the amount of bribe was 48 million rubles. Developers were asked to transfer this sum to an account in the National Corporate Bank under the agreement for the supply of components. It is noteworthy that the documents mentioned only 2 million rubles. Developers also reported this case of corruption to the police. In the fall of 2015 Dmitry Nedobor was arrested. After that, the ministry’s audit department of public procurement agreed on the cost of state contracts with NIISSUU, which amounted to 5 billion 680 million rubles.
As for the charges against persons involved in the case, Dmitry Nedobor has been accused of attempting to bribe (part 6 of art. 30 of the Criminal Code), while Gennady Bauman and Yuri Davydov have been accused of Mediation in an Attempted Bribery by an organized group (part 3 of Art. 30 and part 4 of Art. 291 of the Criminal Code).
At the moment, the suspects refused to plead guilty. In addition, their defense insists that the investigation has no evidence against the suspects, and that the indictments have not been specified.
Of all those involved, only Yuri Davydov chose to testify in court. Gennady Bauman said he would testify only after the materials of the case are examined and witnesses questioned. Dmitry Nedobor agreed to testify only at the stage of evidence examination.
During the court session, lawyers demanded to expel reporters from the courtroom, referring to the fact that "private lives of the accused" would be discussed later on. The court granted this request, and the journalists were asked to leave before the questioning of Yuri Davydov. Witnesses’ interrogation is scheduled for November 2 and 15.
Dmitry Nedobor’s lawyers provided a long list of his merits before the court, saying that he spent his entire life serving the homeland, and that the investigation has no proof of his guilt. They requested to release the former official on bail or place him under house arrest, since he has a young daughter and a disabled father. However, the court refused to grant this request, arguing that the accused may interfere with the investigation or attempt to flee from justice. Instead, Nedobor was left in the detention facility.
This is not the first scandal associated with the Ministry of Defense. It all started in 2012 with a high-profile case of Oboronservis. The main defendant was a former official in the state agency, Yevgenia Vasilyeva. The court sentenced her to five years in prison. This August, she was set free on parole. After a major scheme of state property theft had been unraveled, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov had to leave his post. He was charged with negligence, but the criminal case against him was closed, and he did not suffer any penalty.