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MOSCOW, August 1 (Itar-Tass) —— State Duma deputy Gennady Gudkov said the Investigation Committee’s charges against him were “a lie a libel”.
Earlier, Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass that investigators had checked out Bulgarian citizen Ivailo Zartov’s information and obtained proof of Gudkov’s illegal entrepreneurial activities, including in companies registered in Bulgaria and Gibraltar.
Gudkov told Itar-Tass that he had studied Markin’s statement attentively and, in his opinion, some of its parts run counter to Russian legislation. “It appears that the investigators simply do not know laws,” he said. “State Duma deputies, just like deputy prime ministers and ministers are not forbidden to own participatory shares in companies and their shares.”
As for “the Bulgarian episode”, Gudkov referred to himself as the “affected party” as he had “diligently reported for questioning in person and of his free will”, while “Investigation Committee officials tried to bring in my wife, Polina Gudkova, by force on an overdue subpoena”.
The MP believes that these actions at “elements of a political campaign” and links them to his protest activities and political position.
According to Markin, “The event of the crime under Article 289 of the Criminal Code [illegal participation in business activities] was found in Gudkov’s actions.” This article envisions a fine of up to 300,000 roubles, deprivation of the right to carry out some concrete activities for a term of up to five years, correctional work or even a prison term of up to two years.
“The corpus delicti in this crime or lack thereof will be determined during the investigation,” Markin added.
The inquiry is underway now, after which the information will be passed on to the prosecutor’s office and the State Duma “to take a decision within their jurisdiction”, he said. Thus Markin did not rule out a possible address to the State Duma to give its consent for stripping Gudkov of immunity and opening the criminal case.
This is not the first time Zartov make complaints against Gudkov He had tipped the Investigation Committee that Gudkov was “laundering money abroad”.
“The statement mentions investments in foreign firms made through one of the Cypriot banks from an offshore company,” Markin said.
Gudkov, however, 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.