MOSCOW, August 3 (RAPSI) — The Moscow Tverskoy District Court has sentenced State Duma deputy Vadim Belousov to 10 years in a strict regime penal colony in a criminal case over taking a bribe in the amount of more than 3 billion rubles (about $50 million at the current exchange rate), the press service of the court informs RAPSI.
The MP failed to appear for the announcement of the sentence on Wednesday. Belousov’s lawyers cited busyness and previously scheduled working meetings, which allegedly prevented his presence in the courtroom. The judge clarified that if a probe by the Federal Penitentiary Service establishes no plausible excuse, the defendant is to be put on the wanted list.
The court also imposed on Belousov a fine in the amount of 500 million rubles (about $8 million) and deprived him of a state award. The property of the lawmaker in an amount equal to the amount of the bribe was turned into state revenue, according to the ruling.
A sentence was also announced in relation to the 80-year-old mother-in-law of the deputy, Margarita Butakova, the chief accountant of the First Khlebokombinat OJSC. The woman received a 5-year suspended sentence with a similar fine.
According to investigators, from 2010 to 2014, Belousov and Butakova, being members of an organized criminal group, together with ex-Governor of the Chelyabinsk region Mikhail Yurevich and other persons, received a bribe from representatives of a road construction holding for providing general patronage to the activities of its enterprises. Overall, the members of the said organized criminal group received bribes totaling more than 3 billion rubles.
The defendants were charged with taking a bribe on an especially large scale. Yurevich was put on international wanted list after he left his post in January 2014 and managed to flee justice.
In the course of the preliminary investigation, at the request of the Prosecutor General's Office, the consent of the State Duma of the Russian Federation was obtained to deprive Vadim Belousov of parliamentary immunity and bring him to criminal responsibility.