Peskov called “duck” the message about the intention of the Kremlin to exchange the White testimony against Navalny on house arrest
The Kremlin called a “canard” spread in the press reports that representatives of the presidential administration allegedly offered to release under house arrest of ex-Governor of the Kirov region Nikita Belykh in exchange for testifying against the opposition leader Alexei Navalny in the “case of Kirovec”, which was sent to the court for retrial after the cancellation of the previous verdict of the Supreme court. Prepared by the deal announced yesterday a source close to the former head of the region.
The Kremlin insisted that the President’s administration can not influence the investigation in respect of White, reports “Interfax”. Asked to comment on the rumors, Peskov said to reporters: “no comment on (the reports). This is probably from the
“ducks”. Investigative actions are conducted. Neither the presidential administration nor its employees are not and cannot be relevant to them (investigators) and especially can’t promise that someone somewhere will let you.” According to the press Secretary of the head of state such reports, “rather fall into the category of absurd.”
Meanwhile, on the eve a friend of White told “Vedomosti”that the representatives of the presidential administration promised that the former Governor will be released under house arrest if he testifies on Bulk. According to the interlocutor of the edition, including the related to this is the recent change of lawyers White. Released from his November 9 defenders Vadim Prokhorov and Olga Mikhailova declined to comment on the situation.
However, close to the investigation source told “Vedomosti” that White can go for a plea deal and admit guilt, noting that it is connected with this change of lawyers. But the investigation hardly interested in the testimony on Bulk – “there are too many cries of,” said the interlocutor of the edition.
According to political analyst Mikhail Vinogradov, “the government is more interested to save as much as possible the uncertainty about the possible participation of Navalny in presidential elections.” “Not to put them on and it will be enough – now the suspense is better not to kill, you can, for example, to cancel a sentence and to start a new business”, – the expert believes.
Previously Navalny said that refuses to go to the meeting of the Leninsky district court, which on 5 December will begin a new consideration of criminal case of embezzlement of funds of the company “Kirovles” against the opposition leader and entrepreneur Peter ofitserova. The founder of the “Fund of struggle against corruption” explained its refusal by the fact that he is still not compensated, in accordance with the judgment incurred in the first litigation costs in the amount of 48 thousand euros. “Or, as it is assumed that the sentence is cancelled, I have to move again, and the old one does not compensate for the costs?” – the oppositionist wrote in his blog.
Navalny also recalled that the sentence in 2013, he paid a fine in the amount of 500 thousand rubles. In mid-November, the sentence was reversed by the Supreme court of the Russian Federation as illegal. Although Lenin court then set a date for the new review of the “case of Kirovec”, the policy was not returned paid to the budget of half a million rubles.
It is worth noting that the Supreme court’s decision, on the one hand, will allow Navalny, earlier declared his presidential ambitions for 2018, to participate in elections of the head of state. Previously, the existence of a criminal record deprived him of this right up until the year 2033.
On the other hand, the Supreme court did not dismiss the “case of Kirovec”, based on the judgment, but reversed the sentence, sending the case back for retrial. According to Navalny, this was done to force him again to ride from Moscow to Kirov for the trial, and thus prevent his political activities. The blogger said he intends to appeal the decision of the Supreme court in the Committee of the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which supervises execution of decisions of the Strasbourg court.
The verdict in the case of “Kirovles” Navalny and Ofitserova was made Leninsky court in Kirov on 18 July 2013. The court agreed with the arguments of the investigation that Navalny, who in 2009 was adviser to the Kirov region Governor, used his influence to compel the then Director of “Kirovles” Vyacheslav Opaleva conclude a disadvantageous contract for the supply of forest Vyatka forest company headed by Ofitserov. As a result of “Kirovles” sold their goods below market value, the damage amounted to 16 million rubles.
In the result, Navalny was sentenced to five years imprisonment, Officers received four years. Both were taken into custody in the courtroom, but the next day was released on his own recognizance until the sentence comes into force. Later the Kirov regional court changed the sentence to the defendants, replacing the real punishment for a suspended sentence and a fine of 500 thousand rubles.
23 February 2016, the ECtHR ruled that the Russian courts found Navalny and Ofitserov guilty of a crime, consisting in actions that are indistinguishable from legitimate business. “In other words, there has been an arbitrary interpretation of the law in violation of the rights of the accused”, stated in the decision of the court in Strasbourg.
Later, the ECHR refused to consider an appeal of Russia to this decision. The Strasbourg court ruled that Russia must pay Navalny and Ofitserova in compensation a total of more than 80 thousand Euro.
As for the White, now ex-Governor of the Kirov region detention facility. He was charged with receiving a bribe in especially large size.
White was detained June 24, in a Moscow restaurant when receiving a bribe. According to investigators, he personally and through the intermediary received a total of 400 thousand euros. The next day he was arrested by decision of the Basmanny court. He does not recognize his guilt and denies the fact of receiving bribes.
Soon after the arrest of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on early termination of powers of White in connection with loss of trust. Under part 6 of article 290 of the criminal code of Russian Federation (“bribe reception in especially large size”) the former head of the Kirov region could face from eight to 15 years of imprisonment.