Savin speaks about events preceding initiation of criminal case against him
Penza, 11 May 2018. PenzaNews. In an interview with the newspaper Ulitsa Moskovskaya the former vice-governor of the Penza region suspected of fraud, Valery Savin, spoke in detail about the events that preceded the initiation of the criminal case involving land in the territory of the non-commercial horticultural cooperative Iskra-1.
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According to him, in summer 2015 the acting governor, Ivan Belozertsev, gave an order to try to return the Penza Bus Stations Association, whose property was estimated at several dozens of million roubles, to the regional ownership. The organization had been sold by the decision of his predecessor Vasily Bochkarev even though it included almost all regional bus stations including the large complex in Lunacharskogo street.
"[...] 51% of the shares were sold to a company Venera for a ridiculous amount. As it turned out later, the director of the company was a kind of a fake woman. In further negotiations Venera interests were represented by a Mr. Loshchagin, who in certain circles was known as the Bochkarevs' lawyer. [...] So I started to work on this issue, prepared an appeal to the law enforcement authorities. We also conducted a new cost estimate. It followed that the cost of the shares sold under Governor Bochkarev was underestimated by 3-4 times," the former official said.
He noted that the case on the fact of sale had been initiated in February 2016 and "the slow process of returning regional property had begun".
Source: Belozertsev-Bochkarev opposition keeps intensifying
"Shortly before that, sometime in January 2016 Vasily Kuzmich called me and hinted that I shouldn't have started it. In March the investigation went forward at a steady gait and Bochkarev called me once again. He said he was ready to return the shares but with a condition. According to him, the cost of return had to be different – three times higher than the amount the Venera company paid under the sale contract. According to Vasily Kuzmich this was due to the fact that the dollar had increased at that time. I immediately told him that we could not do that since the regional government did not possess such money and, in fact, it was illegal. The maximum that the Penza region could offer its ex-governor was to increase the cost of shares by 8.4% in line with the Central Bank refinancing rate. [...] In the negotiating process the ex-governor's party tried to impose different conditions. For example, they would have agreed to the Central Bank rate in case we had given them land in the Shemysheysky area. It took long time to solve the problem. But in the end the shares were returned to the regional ownership. We did pay 8.4% more, but defended the land in the Shemysheysky area," Valery Savin said.
He added that in parallel with that work on restoring order on the market of procurement of medicine for Penza hospitals began since under the former governor "there had always existed the monopolist that tried to push its products forward and was successful as a rule".
"In part we have succeeded. Already by the end of 2016, other suppliers took on about 25% of the total volume of products supplied to medical institutions. There was competition, the prices were lower," the interlocutor noted.
According to the former vice governor, the work on these issues influenced his fate and he became a defendant in a criminal case.
"According to investigators, I appropriated a strip of land illegally that supposedly belonged to the municipality and was located next to my cottage in Barkovka street. They made a mountain out of a molehill. They started this in spring 2016 – immediately after the police had initiated the criminal case on the fact of sale of shares of the Penza Bus Stations Association," Valery Savin said.
According to him, the main information attacks were carried out through the website, whose founder and editor-in-chief was Alexander Tuzov, ex-officer of the Federal Security Service, member of the public council under the regional department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, founder of an Internet medium, who depends on his wife.
"I am blamed for having stolen 844 square metres of land that belongs to the city. In reality, this is just a narrow strip of land that surrounds three sides of my cottage. To understand the absurdity of the whole situation, just look at the cadastral map. The maximum width of this strip of land is six metres. Minimum – a few centimetres. One cannot build even a barn there. [...] I have not stolen the land. I learned it a few years ago that the fence goes beyond the land belonging to me. Since then I have tried to bring it into compliance with the legislation. In particular, in 2013 I turned to the board of the non-commercial horticultural cooperative Iskra-1, and in February 2016 I turned personally to Victor Nikolaevich Kuvaytsev. I was ready to buy the square metres or rent them out. After that Viktor Nikolaevich gave his staff an order to consider this possibility. They studied Rosreestr documents and saw that this was the land for collective use that could be used by members of horticultural cooperatives. That is according to documents the land does not even belong to the municipality. The investigation also sees that the horticultural cooperative Iskra-1 does have land for collective use. However, it still believes that I appropriated some municipal land by illegal means having entered into criminal conspiracy with deputy mayor Irina Shirshina," Valery Savin said.