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Sakhalin governor's case admits of no window dressing — lawmaker

March 04, 2015, 21:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The detention of the Sakhalin governor should finally herald the beginning of a decisive stage of combat against the corruption system, Vice speaker of the State Duma lower house of parliament says
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Sakhalin region governor Alexander Khoroshavin

Sakhalin region governor Alexander Khoroshavin

© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, 4 March. /TASS/. Detention of the Sakhalin region governor Alexander Khoroshavin should mark the beginning of a decisive phase of the struggle against corruption, the most important thing is to prevent window dressing in the "Khoroshavin case," a senior Russian lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Vice speaker of the State Duma lower house of parliament Nikolay Levichev (A Just Russia faction) said the detention of Khoroshavin was a signal primarily for the leaders of the Far East regions.

The Sakhalin governor was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of large-scale bribery (more than one million rubles). The long-serving governor of the Pacific island, Alexander Khoroshavin, 55, was arrested alongside several other officials for "receiving a bribe on a particularly large scale," the Investigative Committee said in a statement. "Large sums of money have been confiscated in roubles and foreign currency, a large quantity of jewellery and costly watches and cell phones," said the statement, adding that searches were ongoing. Khoroshavin, who has been governor of Sakhalin since 2007, has been transferred to Moscow where a court will rule on whether he must be held behind bars during the investigation. He could face up to 15 years in jail.

Three accomplices were detained together with the official, they were taken to Moscow on Wednesday for the investigatory actions, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told TASS.

"The main thing is to prevent window dressing in the Khoroshavin case. The detention of the Sakhalin governor should finally herald the beginning of a decisive stage of combat against the corruption system," said Levichev.

According to him, the detention of Khoroshavin sent a message, especially for the leadership of Far Eastern regions. "I attribute this to poor implementation of the federal target programme for the development of the region," Levichev said.

The parliamentarian says that in the conditions of shrinking incomes of the population and cuts in social programmes "nobody will tolerate the big bosses, capitalising on state funds."

Meanwhile, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that the situation with the detention of the Sakhalin region governor Khoroshavin was timely reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "It is well known that Putin has been a consistent supporter of stepping up the fight against corruption, emphasising that this should be done and will be done regardless of officials’ ranks," Peskov said.

According to him, the head of state received "a timely report on the actions taken with respect to Khoroshavin."

"The president has also repeatedly said that a person’s guilt can be established only in court, and no matter which measures are being taken against a person, he cannot be condemned until the court passes a verdict," Peskov said.

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