Former St. Petersburg vice-governor denied release from detention in embezzlement case
ST. PETERSBURG, January 28 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The of former vice-governor of St. Petersburg Marat Oganesyan charged with bribery and embezzlement of funds allocated for the construction of the city’s Arena football stadium was denied release from detention, the United press service of St. Petersburg courts told RAPSI on Thursday.
The St. Petersburg City Court thus dismissed his plea for house arrest and upheld a lower court’s ruling of December 2020 extending Oganesyan’s detention for 6 months.
The defendant was placed in detention in November 2016. In July 2019, the Kuybyshevsky District Court of St. Petersburg began hearing his case on merits.
Along with Oganesyan there are 8 more defendants. They are ex-CEO of the Aleksandrinsky Theatre Grigory Popov, ex-first deputy chair of the St. Petersburg Construction Committee Alexander Yanchik, CEO of Scenic Workshops company Vladimir Khalif and his employees Yelena Kovaleva and Artem Kuspits, head of StroyElectroMontazh–5 (SEM-5) firm Vasily Slivkin, his son Kirill and chief economist of the company Nicolay Khripunov.
According to case files, the Investigative Committee’s Main Investigation Department in collaboration with the Federal Security Service (FSB) and police established the fact of embezzlement of funds in the amount of more than 50 million rubles (about $800,000) when the general contractor Transstroy and Scenic Workshops company entered into a contract on supply of a video board of a football stadium in 2014. Oganesyan was responsible for the construction of the stadium.
Investigators claim that Oganesyan ensured illegal involvement of Scenic Workshops as a subcontractor and transferred from the city budget a prepaid expense of more than 50 million rubles to the enterprise. Later, the money was subsequently stolen through sham firms.
According to a prosecutor, Oganesyan and Yanchik received a bribe from Popov through the medition of Khalif, Kovaleva and Kuspits.
Thus, the prosecutor said in court, Oganesyan received 25.5 million rubles, Yanchik 2.5 million rubles. Popov, Khalif, Kovaleva and Kuspits allegedly divided another 22 million rubles.
Vasily Slivkin, the director of StroyElektroMontazh-5, a company that participated in the construction of the St. Petersburg Arena football stadium, is also involved in the case. He is charged with giving Oganesyan 20 million rubles as ensuring a contract for installing illumination and outdoor highlighting of the stadium through his son.