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MOSCOW, June 23 (Itar-Tass) —— State Duma deputy Gennady Gudkov said the message sent to the Investigation Committee which alleges that he is engaged in money-laundering operations in Bulgaria was written by Ivailo Zartov who is serving a long prison term in that Balkan country.
According to Gudkov, he came to know Zartov “many years ago” by “one of the Russian senior diplomats”. Gudkov then recommended Zartov to his partners but the man robbed a firm. Zartov is now serving a 12-year term in Bulgaria. Earlier, Zartov committed robbery in the Czech Republic.
“In other words, a two-time criminal offender contacted the Investigation Committee,” the MP said.
This is not the first time Zartov make complaints against Gudkov. “He has accused me of everything one can think of,” he added.
The Investigation Committee made the issue public through its representative without even having studied Zartov’s statement on its merits, he said. “It is not appropriate for the Investigation Committee to investigate a case through mass media without studying anonymous messages [on their merits] that contain signs of libel,” the MP said.
He regards the affair as a part of the campaign against him personally.
Gudkov denied all assertions that he was engaged in commercial activities in Bulgaria.
“I personally was not engaged in any commercial activities, let alone in Bulgaria,” Gudkov said.
“I did buy beer and did banana-boating, that’s true. This is in fact an investment in the Bulgarian economy. My children have an inexpensive apartment there, but many people in Russia can afford that now,” the MP said.
Gudkov said no one from the Investigation Committee has contacted him so far. He links the money laundering allegations to “the scandals that the authorities have made about my person” to “the slam and publications”.
“The Investigation Committee has to give up merger cases now or create a special department for investigating Gennady Gudkov’s activities abroad,” said the lawmaker from the opposition Just Russia party and active member of public protests.
Gudkov said he has no time to “do commerce” as he is busy working in the State Duma.
Earlier in the day, the Investigation Committee has received information from a Bulgarian citizen who claimed that
Gudkov was “laundering money abroad”.
“The statement mentions investments in foreign firms made through one of the Cypriot banks from an offshore company,” Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Saturday, June 23, when asked by Itar-Tass to comment.
“The Investigation Committee will examine this statement as prescribed by law and make an appropriate procedural decision,” Markin said.
He provided no details, names, amounts of money or companies involved.