Investigators complete probe into regional timber minister accused of abuse of office
MOSCOW, July 10 (RAPSI) – Investigators have almost finished their probe into the Irkutsk Region’s timber complex minister Sergey Sheverda accused of abuse of office, according to the Russian Investigative Committee’s spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko.
Final charges will be brought soon against Sheverda, his former deputy and other defendants in a criminal case over massive deforestation of a state nature sanctuary, Petrenko has stated.
Sheverda was arrested as part of investigation initiated earlier into illegal clear sanitary felling in a state nature reserve of regional significance in the Irkutsk Region at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on June 6.
On June 7, a court ordered Sheverda to be put in detention for two months.
Earlier, several regional officials involved in the case were charged with abuse of power, illegal logging and disturbance of regime of specially protected natural reservations.
According to investigators, the defendants illegally ordered, agreed upon a schedule and sanitized the nature reserve. As a result of illegal logging, damage totaling to nearly 748 million rubles ($11.5 million) was caused to Russia’s Timber Fund, hunting resources and their habitat, soils and animals.