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VELIKY NOGOROD, April 3 (Itar-Tass) – Deputy governor of the Novgorod region Arnold Shalmuyev, a suspect in the criminal case over 35-million-rouble fraud in road repairs, is in serious condition, senior aide to the director of the regional department of the Investigative Committee /SK/ Lyudmila Sergeyeva told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
Shalmuyev was hospitalized on Tuesday. "He is due to be questioned on April 9, but we cannot question him because of his hospitalization. The investigative actions with respect to him will resume after he convalesces," Sergeyeva said.
A regional administration official told Tass "Shalmuyev is in serious condition. He is on artificial lung ventilation." According to the source, Shalmuyev is still listed as deputy governor: "The decision on dismissing him is taken by investigative bodies. So far, no such statements have been forwarded to governor Sergei Mitin."
Earlier, the SK denied the allegations that the case against deputy governor of the Novgorod region Arnold Shalmuyev was politically motivated.
The regional SK department opened five criminal cases following the check by agents of the main department for economic security and combating corruption.
Police are questioning four suspects in the case. All have been placed in a pre-trial detention center.
An SK spokesman said 40 searches were conducted within the case, including searches at the office of first deputy governor Arnold Shalmuyev.
The investigators said legislators Anatoly Petrov and Nikolai Zakaldayev, together with a number of business persons - Georgy Vishnyakov, Oleg Orlov, Alexander Belov, Konstantin Bekchev, Alexei Tutykin and other unidentified persons - set up an organized criminal group with the view of systemic theft of budget money in an especially large amount. The funds were allocated for the construction, repairs and maintenance of roads of regional and municipal significance.
Under the group's scheme, the regional unitary enterprise Veche had to win an auction to sign a state contract for the maintenance of regional and municipal roads and road infrastructure in the first half of 2012 in a majority of districts of the Novgorod region.
To realize the criminal intent, the posts of Veche director and his deputy were given to Orlov and Belov. In January - May 2012, the group purchased the Magistral company to embezzle funds. Its board included members of the criminal group.
The initial maximum price of the contract made up 357.475 million roubles. "The criminals planned to pocket at least 10 percent of the sum of the contract /35 million roubles/," the SK said.
However, at the open auction in June 2012, the winner was another organization which had offered a minimal price. The director general of the winner company was threatened into giving up the contract. The criminal said they would cause damage to his property and disseminate information to tarnish his business reputation. As a result, the entrepreneur had to scrap his plans, being aware of the gravity of the situation, the criminal group's influence and high positions taken by its members.
A contract then was concluded with Veche and 35 million roubles were transferred to Magistral accounts under fictitious documents.