MOSCOW, December 12 (RAPSI) – The Tomsk Regional Commercial Court has ordered recovery of 101.5 million rubles ($1.5 million) from Kemerovo confectionery factory, the majority owner of Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) shopping mall that became a site of deadly fire in March 2018, in favor of a claimant, businessman Nikolay Babkin, according to court records.

The defendant is to pay principal plus interest under a loan agreement of September 26, 2016.

CEO of Kemerovo confectionery factory Vyacheslav Vishnevsky was earlier charged with giving a bribe in and arrested in absentia in relation to the investigation into the mall fire case. Investigators believe that Vishnevsky left Russia in 2016. 

According to investigators, in 2013-2014, Vishnevsky through an intermediary gave a 7-million-ruble bribe ($106,000) to the regional construction inspection’s chief Tanzilia Komkova, her son Eduard and CEO of ISK Resource company Cherednichenko. The bribe was allegedly designated for help in favor of Vishnevsky.  Komkova, her son and Cherednichenko have been put in detention.

The fire occurred in Zimnyaya Vishnya on March 25. According to investigators, 60 people including dozens of children were killed by fire.

A criminal case was opened over negligent homicide, fire safety breach resulted in multiple deaths, provision of substandard services and negligence. By now, final charges are brought against 7 of 12 defendants in the blaze case. They are studying case materials. Investigation into the others is ongoing.