MOSCOW, April 1 (RAPSI) - A co-owner of Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) shopping mall that became a site of deadly fire killing 60 people in Russia's Kemerovo in March 2018 has been charged with giving a 7-million-ruble bribe (about $100,000), according to a statement of the Investigative Committee.
After extradition from Poland last week, Vyacheslav Vishnevsky passed a test for coronavirus.When received a negative take, he was charged and questioned in the presence of a defense lawyer, the statement reads.
Vishnevsky, ex-CEO of the Kemerovo confectionary complex and co-owner of the burnt mall, left Russia in 2016. He was arrested in absentia and put on the international wanted list. He was charged with giving a bribe and arrested in absentia in relation to the investigation into the mall fire case. In March 2019, he was arrested in Poland.
According to investigators, in 2013-2014, Vishnevsky through an intermediary gave a 7-million-ruble bribe to the regional construction inspection’s chief Tanzilia Komkova, her son Eduard and CEO of ISK Resource company Nikita Cherednichenko. The bribe was allegedly designated for help in favor of Vishnevsky. Komkova, her son and Cherednichenko have been put in detention.
In total, there are 15 defendants in the case over the deadly fire. Depending on their alleged role, they are charged with negligent homicide, fire safety breach resulted in multiple deaths, provision of substandard services and negligence.
The fire occurred in the mall on March 25, 2018. According to investigators, 60 people including dozens of children were killed by fire. Initially it was reported that 64 people died.