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MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/. The notorious diamond-encrusted golden fountain pen estimated at nearly $0.5 million owned by ex-governor of Russia’s Far Eastern Sakhalin region, Alexander Khoroshavin, accused of million-dollar kickbacks, may be forfeited by the state as the prosecutor general’s office has taken a legal action asking court to confiscate his property worth $16.2 million, Khoroshavin’s lawyer Sergey Zhorin said on Monday.
"It is a rather strange lawsuit," Zhorin said, adding he hoped the court would not uphold it. He did not say however whether the notorious pen had been included into the property subject to confiscation. "I don’t know, maybe it is listed under some code name in the category of jewelry," he told TASS.
Khoroshavin, who had served as the governor of the Sakhalin Region in Russia’s Far East since 2007, was detained in his office in early March and quickly escorted to Moscow. The 55-year old governor was accused of taking a bribe worth $5.6 million from Energostroy, a local energy company that had previously won lucrative biddings from the governor’s office. In April, another criminal case was opened against Khoroshavin who was accused of taking a $221,300 bribe. In August, the court extended Khoroshavin’s custody.
Following Khoroshavin’s arrest in early March, spokesman for the Russian prosecutor general’s office Vladimir Markin said a subsequent police search at the governor’s residence had uncovered about one billion rubles (over $14.8 million) in cash and 800 pieces of jewelry, including a diamond-encrusted golden fountain pen estimated at nearly $590,000. Khoroshavin’s accounts in four banks were arrested by court.
The prosecutor general’s office motivated the new suit by the fact that this property had not been declared under the 2012 law on control over expenditure of state officials.
Preliminary hearings will be held at a Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk court on October 1, Zhorin said.