The Russian Investigative Committee has launched an inquiry into the fact of lower-price sale of about one hectare of land with buildings in the Krasnodar Territory. The area was provided for the husband of the sister of ex-defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov for construction work. Serdyukov may be summoned as a witness over the criminal case, the fourth for him.
According to the materials, in July 2010, Serdyukov asked the head of the resort city of Anapa to transfer an area of about a hectare with buildings that were on the area to the Defence Ministry’s Property Relations Department to build a navigation station, the Komsomolskaya Pravda cited Investigative Committee official Vladimir Markin as saying. After the consideration of Serdyukov's application, the area was transferred by the municipality's decision to the Defence Ministry. Five months later, the state property was transferred to an enterprise, and later it was privatized.
The scheme to transfer property and land from the state to private hands in the case was absolutely the same as in the rest, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta notes. But the Anapa case has some differences. If in the other strange sale cases, Serdyukov could be mentioned indirectly, this time, the argument that "the minister did not know what he signed" cannot be applied. Property on expensive coastal resort land was in the hands of his relative, his sister's husband Valery Puzikov. It is hard to say it was accidental, the newspaper notes. At present, construction work is underway in the territory in accordance with Puzikov' s order. A luxury suburban complex is under construction there.
The Kommersant notes that most of the participants in the deal with expensive land are already under investigation. Ex-head of the Expert legal support centre Yekaterina Smetanova (she has agreed on a cooperation deal with the investigators and was released from custody) and her husband, Maxim Zakutailo, a chief manager for district material storage, are charged with fraud. The head of the Property Relations Department, Yevgenia Vasilyeva, accused of massive fraud, is under home arrest. Serdyukov is a witness in three criminal cases. One of them is opened over sales of military facilities by the Oboronservis company, and the other two are opened against unidentified yet Defence Ministry officials over the construction of a road to the elite recreation centre Zhitnoye, located near the Volga River, and its landscaping work. The centre was owned by Puzikov.