Co-owner of burnt Kemerovo mall goes on trial on bribery charges
MOSCOW, September 24 (RAPSI) – A bribery case against a co-owner of Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) shopping mall that became a site of deadly fire killing 60 people in Russia's Kemerovo in March 2018 with an approved indictment has been sent to the Kemerovo Central District Court for consideration, the press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office reports.
Investigation into Vishnevsky was completed in mid-September.
Vishnevsky stands charged with the 7-million-ruble bribe giving (about $100,000) to an organized criminal group headed by an official to the regional construction inspection’s chief Tanzilia Komkova.
Vishnevsky, ex-CEO of the Kemerovo confectionary complex and co-owner of the burnt mall, left Russia in 2016. He was arrested in absentia and put on the international wanted list. He was charged with giving a bribe and arrested in absentia in relation to the investigation into the mall fire case. In March 2019, he was arrested in Poland. In April 2020, he was extradited to Russia.
According to investigators, in 2013-2014, Vishnevsky through an intermediary gave a 7-million-ruble bribe to the regional construction inspection’s chief Tanzilia Komkova, her son Eduard and CEO of ISK Resource company Nikita Cherednichenko. The bribe was allegedly designated for help in favor of Vishnevsky. Komkova, her son and Cherednichenko have been put in detention.
In total, there are 15 defendants in the case over the deadly fire. Depending on their alleged role, they are charged with negligent homicide, fire safety breach resulted in multiple deaths, provision of substandard services and negligence.
The fire occurred in the mall on March 25, 2018. According to investigators, 60 people including dozens of children were killed by fire. Initially it was reported that 64 people died.