понедельник, 31 октября 2011 г.

Governor of Saint Petersburg is to be questioned?


Former governor of the Tula Region Vyacheslav Dudka has requested the Russia’s Investigative Committee to question governor of Saint Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko in connection with the 40-million bribery case, Dudka’s lawyers say. Dudka claims that Poltavchenko asked him to allocated a piece of land in Tula to a supermarket chain called GRINN and Dudka did not accept 40 million roubles bribe ($1.3m) from the company. According to the reports, Poltavchenko is on good terms with the officials of GRINN.

A source close to the investigation told Rumafia.com that, according to Dudka, Poltavchenko, presidential plenipotentiary in the Central Federal District, had asked him to help GRINN with getting a land plot for Linia supermarket.

Dudka claims that ‘true orthodox believer’ and ‘former KGB officer’ Poltavchenko described GRINN as ‘good guys’ who helped the church a lot and on that ground deserved being helped. Dudka also recalled the meeting between him and Poltavchenko during Dudka’s swearing in ceremony last spring. Poltavchenko allegedly reminded Dudka of ‘good guys’ from GRINN and asked the governor to show him an official who would be responsible for fixing the problem. Dudka brought together Poltavchenko and director of property and land department of the Tula Region Viktor Volkov. Poltavchenko asked Volkov to assist GRINN with the land deal. In the end, Volkov was caught red-handed while accepting 40-million bribe from a GRINN representative. Volkov testified that the bribe intended to Dudka.

Being confronted with Dudka, Volkov testified that Poltavchenko had indeed asked him to help GRINN. But Volkov added that Poltavchenko had nothing to do with the extortion. Volkov’s statements gave Dudka’s lawyer a chance to ask for the interrogation of Poltavchenko. They claim that the governor allocated the land to GRINN at Poltavchenko’s request and it was Volkov who decided to make a profit out of the deal.

One of Dudka’s close friends told Rumafia.com that ‘former KGB officer’ Poltavchenko knew Vladimir Gruzdev, whose father was also a KGB officer. Using the situation surrounding GRINN, Gruzdev Senior and Poltavchenko orchestrated Dudka’s resignation and paved the way for Gruzdev Junior to the office of the governor of the Tula Region.

It is unlikely that Russia’s Investigation Committee will summon newly appointed governor of Saint-Petersburg Poltavchenko for questioning. According to a source in the Committee, it is most probably that Poltavchenko has nothing to do with the bribe.

Poltavchenko has been a good friend of owner of GRINN Nikolai Greshilov. What they have in common are very special relations with the church. However, the friendship between Poltavchenko and Greshilov cannot but bring the company success.

Kursk-based GRINN has a privileged status in the Central Federal District, according to a number of businessmen and law enforcers. Popular stand-up comedian Vladimir Vinokur was one of the founding fathers of the corporation. He is an influential figure in the region and a high-profile business owner. Another founding father and the present-day owner of GRINN Greshilov quickly found a common language with Georgy Poltavchenko, who was appointed the presidential plenipotentiary in the Central Federal District in 2000. Both are orthodox believers. For instance, Poltavchenko chairs the supervisory board for reconstruction of Korennaya Pustyn monastery, situated in Svoboda settlement in the Kursk region. It is GRINN that gives money for reconstruction. Near the monastery the corporation has built Postoyaly Dvor hotel, where Poltavchenko is always a welcome guest. Greshilov supports all Poltavchenko’s orthodox undertakings with money. At the same time, GRINN has never had problems with getting land plots in the Central Federal District. Grinn has built its outlets in Kursk, Bryansk, Voronezh, Orel, Lipetsk, Kaluga, Tambov and Smolensk. The only outlet that is located outside the Central Federal District is the one in Belorussia.

Thomas Petrov, Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com

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