Cassation authority upholds lower court decision in dispute over burned mall
MOSCOW, February 12 (RAPSI) – The Commercial Court of West Siberian District has dismissed a move of the Kemerovo city administration, which challenged a lower court decision quashing the permission to put in operation the Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) mall, where more than 60 people died in a fire, the court records read on Wednesday.
The appellant sought to reverse the decisions of the first-instance court of July 12 and of a court of appeals of October 21 in the Commercial Court of West Siberian District.
In July, the regional court ruled that the information about the mall contained in the documents allowing its launch did not correspond to the data registered in the planning approval of the building as the works at the Zimnyaya Vishnya were carried out without permission for its reconstruction.
This May, the Zavodsky Court of the city of Kemerovo proceeded to a criminal case over the tragic fire in Zimnyaya Vishnya, the Investigative Committee’s press service reported.
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. Nearly 150 people were hurt. The blaze destructed property of 140 individuals and 100 companies totaling 293 million rubles (over $4.5 million).
The case was launched over involuntary manslaughter, violation of fire safety regulations that left more than two persons dead and provisions of services that don’t meet safety requirements.
Seven defendants including Yulia Bogdanova, CEO of the Kemerovsky Confectionary Combine, a company owning the) mall, technical director of the mall’s owner company Georgy Sobolev, the mall’s manager Nadezhda Suddenok, a guard who allegedly turned off the emergency notification system when he received a fire signal Sergey Antyushin, CEO of the company System Integrator that developed the fire safety system Igor Polozinenko; an employee of the company, who personally installed the fire alarm Alexander Nikitin and fire team commander Sergey Genin, are on trial.
In December, the press service of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office reported that Kemerovo’s Central District Court was to hear a case against two ex-Emergency Ministry officials Grigory Terentyev and Alexander Mamontov charged with negligence that led to the deadly fire.
According to prosecutors, negligence, failure to conduct checks in order to rectify numerous fire safety rules violations caused the blaze, impossibility to tackle it because of firefighting system malfunction and evacuate people because of the escape exits’ closure.
Mamontov and Terentyev are also charged with embezzlement and fraud.
Investigators claim that Mamontov and Terentyev have not organized safety inspection in the mall since 2017 despite knowing that one should have been completed before March 18. In addition, Mamontov used his position to embezzle 1.8 million rubles ($27,000) from the Ministry and used it for benefit of other persons, according to the Investigative Committee.
Moreover, in 2017 and 2018, Terentyev used his job position and forged documents to embezzle over 48,000 rubles from the ministry’s directorate, according to the statement of the Prosecutor General’s Office.