Defendant in Culture Ministry embezzlement case to stay in detention
MOSCOW, October 13 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) – The Lefortovsky District Court of Moscow has extended detention of Director of the Culture Ministry’s department of property management and investment policy Boris Mazo until December 15, RAPSI learned from the court’s press-service on Thursday.
Mazo is a defendant in the criminal case over embezzlement of budgetary funds allocated for restoration of cultural heritage objects.
On Wednesday, the court extended detention of head of the Center of restoration Oleg Ivanov and head of BaltStroy Dmitry Sergeyev until December 15. Businessman Nikita Kolesnikov will remain in jail until February 16.
On August 25, Mazo has pleaded guilty to embezzling 100 million rubles ($1.5 million) allocated for restoration of cultural heritage objects.
According to his attorney Alexey Kupriyanov, Mazo made a plea deal with investigation. Such agreement involves giving evidence against accomplices, in accordance with the law.
Earlier, Deputy Minister of Culture Grigory Pirumov, director of the Ministry’s department of property management and investment policy Boris Mazo, head of the Center of restoration Oleg Ivanov, head of BaltStroy Dmitry Sergeyev and the company’s manager Alexander Kochenov, businessman Nikita Kolesnikov, head of a state-owned “Directorate for construction, reconstruction and restoration” Boris Tsagarayev and project manager of companies “Stroykomplekt” and “Baltstroy” Vladimir Svanbek have been arrested and put in detention in the so-called “case of restorers”. Kochenov was released from jail and put under house arrest in June.
Moreover, the court ordered seizure of assets belonging to Mazo and Pirumov.
The defendants stand charged with embezzlement of more than 100 million rubles (about $1.5 million). The investigation has presumably started basing on a report by the Auditing Chamber on restoration of the Izborsk Fortress in the Pskov region presented yet in 2013; however, it may also involve such cultural heritage sites as the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow, as well as works carried out at the Ivanovsky Convent in Moscow, and a theater in Pskov.