MOSCOW, November 10 (RAPSI) – Deputy Culture Minister Grigory Pirumov pleaded guilty to stealing 100 million rubles ($1.5 million) of public funds, investigator said during a hearing in the Moscow City Court on Thursday. 

According to investigator, the defendant gave a confession during an additional interrogation conducted on October 19. The copy of questioning record was attached to the case on Thursday.

Pirumov is charged with four episodes of fraud related to restoration of the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow, the Ivanovsky Convent in Moscow, Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics and a theater in Pskov.

Deputy Minister of Culture Grigory Pirumov was detained alongside other high-ranking officials, including Boris Mazo, the head of the Ministry Department of property management and investment policies, on suspicion of corruption and embezzling state funds. Oleg Ivanov, the head of a state unitary enterprise for restoration works supervised by the Ministry, Dmitry Sergeyev, the head of BaltStroy, and Nikita Kolesnikov, the head of Savva Corporate Group, were detained as well.

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.