The judge of the Kirov court of Yaroslavl Michael Ratekin sentenced the former mayor Yevgeny Urlashov to 12 and a half years in a strict regime penal colony and a fine of 60 million rubles. His assistant Alexey Lopatin received 7 years of a colony of strict regime. Russian Themis found them fully guilty of extortion of bribes in especially large size. The severity of the sentence, we discussed with political scientists.
The third suspect – Denis Donskoy, the richest of the Vice Urlashov, was acquitted.
The sentencing of the former leadership of the city took place from 1 to 3 August. All this time the building of the Yaroslavl regional court, where, specially for this moved the process, and the adjacent streets were cordoned off by police.
According to local residents, they have never seen such a crowd of security forces. However, of the famous people who came to the hall to support the suspects was seen only three Deputy Yaroslav Yudin, in July of this year, which replaced the “Civil platform” on PARNASSUS, the Commissioner for human rights in the Yaroslavl region Sergey Baburkin and the leader of the Yaroslavl Communists Alexander Vorobyov.
The Prosecutor demanded for the former mayor of 15 years of strict regime and a fine of 500 million rubles, for his assistant of 8 years of strict regime and 500 million rubles, and for the former Deputy mayor – 5 years of strict regime penal colony.
From the outset there is little doubt that defendants will not be able to count on leniency, so the main sensation of the verdict was the justification of it. In some episodes of criminal activity of the former leadership of the Yaroslavl described in the sentence, it is simply not mentioned, and in others it appeared as the unsuspecting victim of circumstances. Now Donskov will require compensation for time spent in jail and under house arrest.
Donskov detained in 2013, testified against Urlashov. Then he said that in 2012, the mayor extorted from the Director of the company for the repair and cleaning of roads and member of “United Russia” Sergey Shmelev a pullback of 6% (14 million) over a one-year contract to clean the city. However, after the arrest Donskov has recanted and stated that 6% was not a bribe, and sponsorship, “Civic platform”, which consisted of Urlashov.
In the end Shmelev gave money, but to the destination they never reached. In the summer of 2013, the police arrested the courier Andrey Zakharov, who was to pass 14 million Lopatin. Later Urlashov accused of extortion of 30 million rubles from another Yaroslavl businessman Eduard Avdalyan. For the money he promised to convey the property owned by urban enterprise.
One of the accomplices – the former Director of the Agency for the municipal order of housing and communal services of the mayoralty of Yaroslavl Maxim Poikalainen immediately concluded from the result of a plea agreement. And in 2014, was sentenced to 4 years of strict regime colony and a fine of 4 million rubles. Zakharov also confessed and received 10 months in prison and a fine of 500 thousand rubles. Despite this, Urlashov, Donskov Lopatin and guilt is totally did not recognize and were called the criminal case is politically motivated.
We will remind, in 2012 Urlashov won a resounding victory in the elections of the mayor of Yaroslavl, beating the candidate from “United Russia” Jacob Yakushev due to the fact that unite the entire opposition under the slogan “Against crooks and thieves.” It is noteworthy that the mayor was detained in the night of July 3, 2013, a few days after he chaired a mass meeting, during which announced the continuation of the struggle against the “party of power” and the intention to nominate himself for the elections of the Governor of the Yaroslavl region.
As follows from opinion polls, Urlashov’s arrest led to the growth of its popularity among the locals. In 2013, 44.5% of the respondents claimed that after the arrest of the mayor of their attitude has improved, and only 8% were thinking about it worse. This positive work Urlashov was evaluated 79% of the residents of Yaroslavl and the activities of its main opponent – the Governor of the region Sergey Yastrebov with a “plus” considered only 19,6%.
Before the sentencing, friends Urlashov was published in the social network Facebook, its appeal to the Russians. In it, the former mayor recalls that the United States recognized it to be the most independent politician in Russia who was able to win “system”. Urlashov is confident that the current judicial process, the authorities are taking revenge on him for refusing to go on the transaction with conscience and cooperate with them.
When judge Ratekin finished to read your sentence, the popular mayor of Yaroslavl said that he feels free of all the Russians. “Condemn me for what I spit in the face of “United Russia”… Sooner or later we will win,” said Urlashov. According to the former head of Yaroslavl, all of the revolutionaries were in prison, and he’s not afraid. However, his lawyer Ksenia Karpinskaya with tears in his eyes admitted to journalists that the sentence was unnecessarily cruel and they will appeal to the European court of justice. In her view, Kirovskiy court of Yaroslavl Urlashov denied the presumption of innocence.
The experts commented on the “MK” the sentence:
Yevgeny Minchenko, head of the International Institute of political expertise: “For Yaroslavl Urlashov is a character from the day before yesterday, but the sentence was still very strict. I was expecting a more humane verdict, but what can I say… on the other hand, we have put not only opposition politicians, but also representatives of “United Russia”. Although such strict deadlines they don’t get…
Urlashov won’t be able to leave prison the same person. Most likely, the state Duma elections, the court’s decision will not have much impact, although Urlashov preserved group of supporters. It is unclear who of them will fight for his legacy. Before such a role could be played by Boris Nemtsov, but now it is not.”
Valery KHOMYAKOV, the head of the Council for national strategy: “Completely independent of politicians, but Urlashov was quite a decent man. There was little he had to do for Yaroslavl, but the citizens were in sympathy with them.
Urlashov was gullible, and it is very bad quality for a politician. He had the support of the people, but there was serious support at the Federal level, and when he began to criticize the regional leadership, it became an occasion to excitation of criminal case against him.
In Russia is valued only faithful service to the Tsar and Fatherland”, and anyone who does not or sometimes bucks in the sight of the Pacer, from “otshibayut hooves.
Alexander KYNEV, an expert of the Fund of civil initiatives: “Given how much time is spent in the investigation and later trial, proof of guilt Urlashov must have seemed doubtful even to those who sought him out to dry. Almost all of the witnesses participating in the process, he called it political.
The severity of the sentence, on the one hand, was a demonstration of confidence of the regime, and on the other a signal to those people who can not behave loyally towards the current system. Still, the election of an opposition mayor with 70% support at the time was news of Federal significance
But for anybody not a secret that to be an opposition in Russia is not just hard, but dangerous. We have dozens, if not hundreds of convicted mayors of towns and cities that disagreed with the General line. Urlashov certainly understood the danger of the situation, but overestimated the extent of his personal contacts and those guarantees that they’ve given.
Whereas time was the period of the rise of the “Civic platform”, and he may have hoped that the leadership of the party will protect him. But I don’t think that after this sentence in the life of Yaroslavl is something seriously changes. The opposition of Yaroslavl are not going anywhere, because every action is a reaction. The more will to crush free thought in Yaroslavl, the faster it will be to form a new opposition block”.Related posts: