Saratov Region: District Head suspected of land frauds
A case regarding power abuse has been initiated against Oleg Topol.
Oleg Topol, the Head of the Marks District in the Saratov Region, has been detained on suspicion of corruption.
Yesterday, the Federal Security Service raided the senior official’s workplace. Oleg Topol has been jailed until the court reaches a verdict in the case. Meanwhile, the district administration chose to ignore the security forces and Topol’s receptionist is trying to rationalize his absence saying he is off on vacation.
Both the Federal Security Service and the Investigative Committee of Russia have withheld the case details. However, investigation sources told RIA Novosti that Topol was charged with Art. 285 of the Criminal Code (Abuse of Official Powers). The local media indicates that the criminal investigation is dealing with a fraud during land allocation.
Besides, the sources linked the senior official’s arrest to a conflict he had with a local deputy. Late in 2016, for instance, Oleg Topol publicly quarreled with Aleksandr Gayduk, a parliamentarian backed by Saratov’s Edinaya Rossiya. At a December 22 meeting, local officials accused Gayduk of double-crossing and asked him to resign. The speakers argued that Saratov 24 channel owned by the parliamentarian was conducting a smear campaign against Oleg Topol and his team.
Last week, the entire world has celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Internet. In the meantime, the Russian legislators have adopted new laws restricting the development of the Russian-speaking segment of the world wide web. The 'fake news' and 'internet insults' laws adopted under the pretext of protecting the society from manipulations and threat, including external ones, violate the Constitution and some federal laws in relation to the right to search for, obtain, and use information. Furthermore, the bill on ‘sovereign Internet’ passed in the first reading by the State Duma leads us directly to self-isolation.