The governor of the Penza region is accused of receiving gifts from businessman Boris Shpigel in the form of a watch, a car and money. Boris Shpigel was also detained, the court ordered him to be under house arrest.
The Governor of the Penza Region, Ivan Belozertsev, was detained on March 21 on suspicion of taking a bribe from businessman Boris Shpigel. The Basmanny Court of Moscow has arrested the head of the region for two months.
- According to the RF IC, from January to September 2020, the head of the region received bribes from Spiegel and his wife, as well as from the director of Pharmacy, Anton Koloskov, totaling more than 31 million rubles. Spiegel was detained together with Belozertsev.
- The official representative of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Svetlana Petrenko said that bribes were transferred for providing the Biotech group of companies with competitive advantages in concluding government contracts related to the provision of services for quality control and expiration dates, acceptance, storage, dispensing and delivery of drugs, medical products, reagents purchased from the budget for health care institutions in the region.
- This is the first detention of the current head of the region since July 2020, when the governor of the Khabarovsk Territory Sergey Furgal was detained.
- According to a law enforcement source, searches of the governor and other officials have been conducted since March 20 by employees of the Main Directorate for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.
- According to the source, the investigation believes that Belozertsev received a bribe in the form of an expensive watch and a Mercedes car, while the bulk of it was transferred to the governor in money.
- Investigators found about 500 million rubles in cash during a search in the house of Belozertsev.
- According to the source, a total of six people were detained within the framework of the case.
- In the near future, the investigation plans to bring charges against Belozertsev and his alleged accomplices.
- The governor was taken to Moscow. As the source specified, he will be brought to the temporary detention center on Petrovka.
- The Investigative Committee charged the Governor of the Penza Region with taking a bribe, and businessman Boris Shpigel with giving a bribe. The investigation asks the court to send them under arrest, as well as four other defendants in the case.
- According to a member of the POC, businessman Spiegel, suspected of bribing Belozertsev, does not admit his guilt. He also said that the entrepreneur had serious health problems, and an ambulance was called for him to the isolation ward.
- Ivan Belozertsev also denies guilt in accepting a bribe, a law enforcement source told TASS.
The Basmanny Court of Moscow on March 22 imprisoned the head of the region for two months, until May 20.
- In addition to Belozertsev, the court arrested Fyodor Fedotov, deputy head of the Penza region’s representative office in Moscow, for two months. Until May 20, an employee of this representative office, Gennady Markov, was also detained.
- According to a TASS source, the investigation took a nondisclosure agreement from all lawyers in the case in order to keep the circumstances of the case secret.
- United Russia suspended Belozertsev’s membership in the party pending the outcome of the case.
- Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov did not rule out that Vladimir Putin could dismiss Belozertsev due to the loss of confidence.
- A law enforcement source said that new episodes of his illegal activities may appear in the case of the head of the Penza region.
- Dina Cheremushkina, press secretary of the governor and the government of the Penza region, said that the regional government is working as usual. The acting head of the region has not yet been appointed.
According to the government procurement website, health care institutions in the Penza region from January to September 2020, inclusive, signed contracts with the Biotek group of companies and Pharmacy OJSC (part of the group) for about 700 million rubles.