MOSCOW, June 6 (RAPSI) – Legal examination has confirmed the guilt of the Emergency Ministry’s officials detained in a case over tragic fire in Kemerovo’s Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) mall that left 60 people dead, the Investigative Committee’s press service reports.
Chief of the ministry’s directorate for Kemerovo Grigory Terentyev and ex-director of the ministry’s department for Kemerovo Region Alexander Mamontov have pleaded not guilty with the reference to intradepartmental regulations, the statement reads.
However, the examination confirmed that the defendants had committed acts of negligence during execution of intradepartmental regulations governing the procedure and timing of fire safety inspections, investigators stated.
On May 28, Mamontov and Terentyev were put in detention for two months. Depending on their alleged actions they were charged with criminal negligence and embezzlement.
Investigators claim that Mamontov and Terentyev have not organized safety inspection in the mall since 2017 despite knowing that one should have been completed before March 18. In addition, Mamontov used his position to embezzle 1.8 million rubles ($29,200) from the Ministry and used it for benefit of other persons.
The blaze in the mall occurred on March 25. According to investigators, 60 people including dozens of children were killed by fire. Initially it was reported that 64 people died.
A criminal case has been launched over involuntary manslaughter, violation of fire safety regulations that left more than two persons dead and provisions of services that don’t meet safety requirements.
Eight other persons were also charged and detained in the case. They are: Yulia Bogdanova, CEO of the Kemerovsky Confectionary Combine, a company owning the mall, Tanziliya Komkova, chief of the region’s State Construction Inspection, a formal head of the mall’s owner company Georgy Sobolev; the mall’s manager Nadezhda Suddenok; CEO of the company System Integrator that developed the fire safety system Igor Polozinenko; an employee of the company, who personally installed the fire alarm Alexander Nikitin, a guard who allegedly turned off the emergency notification system when he received a fire signal Sergey Antyushin and fire team commander Sergey Genin, who was charged with negligence.