Thefts in construction of President Putin’s residence are now “state secret”

Thefts in construction of President Putin’s residence are now “state secret”
Andrey Kaminov

More than 1.5 billion rubles ($23 mil) were reported to have been stolen during the construction of the residence in Novo-Ogaryovo.

The court will consider the case of embezzlement during the reconstruction of the presidential residence behind closed doors. At the first hearing, the judge decided that there were materials in the case that should be classified.

Judge Oleg Moskvitin was backed by a representative of the city’s military prosecutor’s office who stated that “facility No. 53” in Novo-Ogaryovo, as well as the regulations on the FSO, FSB and their employees are classified as state secrets. Witnesses from among the FSB and FSO officers will be questioned in court, their names and personal information are also classified. The government contract itself is a state secret, too,” the representative of the prosecutor’s office emphasized, according to Kommersant.

More than 1.5 billion rubles ($23 mil) were reported to have been stolen during the construction of the residence in Novo-Ogaryovo.

Then six people were arrested, including Andrei Kaminov, general director at Ateks, a company established by the Federal Security Service (FSO), URA.RU reported. In addition to Kaminov, investigators consider St. Petersburg billionaire Dmitry Mikhalchenko to be the mastermind behind the criminal syndicate. Both of them are in jail pending trial. After the judge adjourned the trial, Kaminov’s lawyer Ruslan Koblev expressed concern that if the hearing is closed, the defendants would be deprived of their constitutional rights to defense and disclosure of what was going on at the legal proceedings.

However, the court did not change the decision.

The criminal case against Kaminov and the St. Petersburg subcontractors was instituted by the Investigative Committee for several counts violating part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Swindling on an especially large scale”. The funds were stolen during the construction of the House of Receptions in the official residence of the President of Russia - the so-called "facility number 53". According to investigators, the total cost of the work amounted to more than 5.5 billion rubles, with 225 million rubles initially reported as stolen. However, during the investigation, the amount increased to 1.5 billion rubles.

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