On Thursday, the Izmailovsky Court of Moscow handed down verdicts in the criminal case of corruption in the Penza region. The court sentenced Ivan Belozertsev, ex-governor of the region, to 12 years in a strict-regime prison and found him guilty of accepting a large bribe.
At the same time, the court sentenced Borys Shpigel, head of the group of pharmaceutical companies “Biotek” and former member of the Federation Council from the Penza region, to 11 years in a strict regime prison. He is charged with giving a person a large bribe.
Belozertsev and Shpigel were also fined more than 450 million rubles each. Belozertsev is prohibited from holding government positions for ten years. The court left both of them with awards.
In addition to Shpigel and Belozertsev, Shpigel’s wife Evgenia, the director of Farmatsiya company Anton Koloskov, as well as employees of the Penza region administration Gennady Markov and Fyodor Fedotov are involved in the case. Yevgenia Shpigel received 8.5 years of the general regime colony, Koloskov – 8.5 years of the strict regime, Markov and Fedorov – 7.5 years of the general regime colony each.
The defense of the convicted said that they intend to appeal the verdicts.
The case was considered in Moscow by the decision of the Supreme Court later
petition of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia, which considered that the defendants retained influence in Penza, which could negatively affect the process.
The hearings themselves were held in a pre-trial detention center due to Shpigel’s health, Interfax reports. The businessman claimed serious health problems and said he was afraid of dying in the pretrial detention center.
- Belozertsev and Shpigel were detained in March 2021 and sent to Moscow for arrest. Both pleaded not guilty. According to the investigation, an hour before that, Belozertsev received more than 31 million rubles in bribes through Markov and Fedotov from Shpigel, his wife, and Koloskov for assistance in obtaining government contracts in the region.
- President Vladimir Putin fired Belozertsev “due to loss of trust”. The SC later accused the head of one of the precinct election commissions in the region of falsifications in the 2020 gubernatorial elections, Mediazona reminds.
- Boris Shpigel stated that the criminal case against him was opened after he refused to give his business to the FSB. Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, commenting on these words, recommended that Shpigel file a complaint with law enforcement agencies.