Not a peace process

Not a peace process Not a peace process

The investigation into criminal enrichment under government contracts lasted almost two years. Igor Ponomarev, Deputy Head of the Administration of the Vasileostrovsky District. He and several other officials, as well as businessmen, are accused of theft on an especially large scale and using their official powers. Read about how the tenders were concocted and why there is a catch in the case in the material of

Life without competitors

The Vasileostrovsky District Court is now facing a difficult trial. In the dock Igor Ponomarevspecialist of the contract service department of St. Petersburg State Budgetary Healthcare Institution “City Clinic No. 3” Alexandra Maksimova – they are accused of using their official powers contrary to the interests of the service – Part 1 of Article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country). Businessman Mikhail Zadorozhny and his accomplices: Alexander Koltyshev And Alexandra Spiridonova in causing property damage by deception or abuse of trust committed by a group of persons by prior conspiracy – clause “a”, part 2 of article 165 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country).

According to the indictment, Ponomarev, being the deputy head of the administration of the Vasileostrovsky district of St. Petersburg, for 4 years (from 2019 to 2022), taking advantage of his official position, and “contrary to the interests of the service,” entered into contracts for the provision of cleaning services and carrying out work to create a unified digital health care circuit (Uniform State Health Information System) on conditions that “do not allow other persons to win auctions” with Mikhail Zadorozhny’s companies – LLC Mirny-55, and IP Zadorozhny.

The investigation believes that the district official acted solely out of his own benefit and interests.

But as always, it’s all about the nuances. As it turned out, one of the defendants in the case, Alexander Koltyshev a great, old friend of Igor Ponomarev. Well, how not to please a friend? The hand washes itself, as they say, and therefore, as the investigation considered, the blatant cheating with state tenders occurred because the official was working for his future – “in order to obtain non-property benefits, conditioned by receiving a mutual favor in the future, if necessary.” Thus arose a criminal conspiracy involving 23 contracts worth approximately 77 million rubles.

But nevertheless, there is another interesting nuance in the case. Despite the fact that the district administration in every possible way highly appreciated the work of Zadorozhny’s companies, his companies really tried their best.

“There was no intention to steal funds”– writes the investigation – “since the work was carried out in full, but on more favorable terms for the above companies.”

This small line generally gives quite a wide scope for actions by the defense. After all, the work was carried out and carried out with dignity – what kind of criminal conspiracy is that? Why not give good performers more favorable working conditions? According to our information, the defendants’ lawyers will push this point.

Investigative question

In addition to the above point, there are also extremely interesting things in the case. For example: when Igor Ponomarev was arrested two years ago, he was charged under Part 4 of Article 159 (fraud committed on a large scale), and under paragraph “d” of Part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country) (exceeding official powers by a group of persons by prior agreement).

Such retraining speaks volumes. For example: part 4 art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country) provides for penalties of up to 10 years in prison, part 3 of Art. 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country), again, up to 10 years. Whereas the charge under the article that Ponomarev is now charged with – Part 1 of Article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country) – is “a fine in the amount of up to eighty thousand rubles or in the amount of wages or other income of the convicted person for a period of up to six months.” Plus, an official can be punished by deprivation of the right to hold certain positions. That’s all.

As for the arrested businessmen and their accomplices, the picture is almost the same.

The sanction under Part 2 of Article 165 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country) is “punishable by forced labor for a term of up to five years with or without restriction of freedom for a term of up to two years, or by imprisonment for a term of up to five years with a fine of up to eighty thousand rubles.” Considering that the defendants are still in pre-trial detention, and two years have actually already passed, most likely the court will limit itself to a fine and the businessmen will go free with what is called a clear conscience.

However, Zadorozhny and everyone else continue to remain in custody. The businessman’s defense also stated this, mentioning at the last extension of the preventive measure that

“The incriminated crime is actually related to Zadorozhny’s business activities, also his involvement and qualification of actions is not confirmed by the materials presented by the investigator, the method of committing the crime has not been established, the investigator’s arguments are presumptive in nature.”

But both he and Ponomarev were predictably denied house arrest, a ban on certain actions, and bail.

Search for faces

Naturally, under all these curious circumstances, a lot of questions arise to which there are answers, but it is politically inappropriate to announce them. According to rumors, since Ponomarev was the deputy of the odious Eduard Ilyin, and for almost two years the former head of the Vasileostrovsky district was on the run, it was a logical move to languish the deputy in a pre-trial detention center. For, as they say on the sidelines, Ponomarev was not the target. It’s not without reason that in the investigative resolution to initiate a criminal case against businessman Zadorozhny, it was written about “other, unidentified persons” who, “together with officials of the Vasileostrovsky District Administration,” actually participated in fraud with government contracts, and

“they ensured their implementation by specific organizations controlled by unidentified persons, thereby causing damage to the budget of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country).”

Knowledgeable people directly point to the possible connection between Comrade Ilyin and those same “specific organizations.”

Ponomarev may have been in the know, and it is possible that he shared interesting conclusions about his former boss with the investigation. Now that Ilyin has already been caught and safely placed in a cell, the point of putting pressure on Ponomarev has disappeared, hence the change of charges to milder charges.

So far, a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for the case, but the process promises to be very interesting. The editors will monitor developments.