MOCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Former head of Russia’s Mari El Republic Leonid Markelov has been detained on suspicion of receiving a bribe of 235 million rubles (roughly $4.1 mln) from a commercial company’s founder for assisting in getting financial support from the state, Russian Investigative Committee Spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko told TASS.
"The Russian Investigative Committee’s Main Department on the investigation of significant cases has initiated a criminal case against former head of the Mari El Republic Leonid Markelov and several other persons under Article 290.6 of the Russian Criminal Code (major bribe received by a state official), Article 291.5 (bribe giving) and Article 291.4 (mediation in bribery)," Petrenko said. "In the near future, investigators plan to bring charges against them and apply for a remand," she added.
"According to investigators, while serving as the republican head, Markelov received a bribe of more than 235 million rubles from Nikolai Krivash, founder of the Akashevskaya factory, in return for his patronage and assistance in getting financial support from the state for the development of an agricultural complex," Petrenko said.
The suspects were detained during investigative activities carried out by the Investigative Committee together with the Federal Security Service (FSB). On Thursday, searches are being conducted in their places of residence and offices aimed at finding objects and documents important for the investigation, the Investigative Committee’s spokesperson noted.
Meanwhile, Markelov’s defense attorney Igor Trunov told TASS that investigators suspect his client of taking bearer bills as a bribe in 2015-2016.