Former deputy agriculture minister Alexei Bazhanov, who was detained on Wednesday, can be arrested on Thursday. He worked in the ministry in 2009–2010. He is suspected of playing the key role in the misappropriations in Rosagroleasing. Bazhanov is accused of stealing 1.125 billion roubles (about 33 million roubles).
Alexei Bazhanov is suspected to be the main perpetrator and mastermind of a fraudulent stealing of 1.125 billion roubles, which Rosagroleasing allocated to the Masloprodukt bodies in 2008–2009, the Kommersant daily noted. The allocations were intended for the purchase of equipment for the main production asset of the company that is the oil extraction plant situated in the Voronezh Region. The detectives believe that no equipment was purchased on the Rosagroleasing allocations. According to the version of the police detectives, the monetary funds, which were transferred to the account of the supplier, were taken out and embezzled for unauthorized purposes.
A new defendant – former deputy agriculture minister Alexei Bazhanov was brought to justice in the criminal case over the embezzlement of the state monetary funds in the Rosagroleasing company, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily noted. The Interior Ministry believes that Bazhanov’s testimony will help clarify the involvement of former agriculture minister Yelena Skrynnik in the corruption scandal. For instance, the detectives may interrogate as a witness Governor of the Voronezh Region Alexei Gordeyev, who headed the Agriculture Ministry at the time, when Rosagroleasing did not receive several tens of billions of roubles, the newspaper believes.
Meanwhile, the question remains essential for the society, whether former minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Yelena Skrynnik can be brought to justice in the current Russian reality, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily contemplates.
President of the Politics Foundation Vyacheslav Nikonov finds the quality of testimony and legal documents mostly important, but not the matter of political willpower.
On the contrary, Chairman of the law bar Your Legal Representative Konstantin Trapaidze is confident that the political factor also exists in publicly important affairs. “But it happens so that resounding statements over involvement in the embezzlement of some state officials are not substantiated by any grounds. For the detective a high-profile criminal case passed in the court is an important step in his career,” Trapaidze noted.
Together with Bazhanov his two accomplices were detained. According to the version of the detectives, the chief executives of the agro-industrial enterprises are suspected of stealing the monetary funds, which were allocated to Rosagroleasing for development and support of the agrarian sector in the region, the Novye Izvestia daily reported.
The newspaper recalled that the investigation in the criminal schemes in the Russian state-run company Rosagroleasing was made public in the autumn of 2012. Then it was reported that former agriculture minister Yelena Skrynnik, who headed the leasing company from 2001 to 2009, is a witness in one of the criminal cases. Last November the documentary “The state officials in power” was broadcast on the federal television channel that claimed 39 billion roubles of budget resources were misappropriated in Rosagroleasing under Skrynnik. The former minister rejected the suspicions, insisting that the sum mentioned by the authors of the documentary is not the misappropriations, but the debt of the agrarian producers.