Former Penza mayor arrested in Moscow
Penza, 20 December 2015. PenzaNews. Alexander Pashkov, ex-mayor of Penza, former deputy chairman of the Penza region government, has been arrested in Moscow, says “Ulitsa Moskovskaya.”
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According to the web-based news source, Alexander Pashkov was likely arrested by the FSB in the Russian capital as early as on Wednesday, December 16, but the media managed to get hold on the information only very recently.
“On December 18, the court – obviously, in the Pervomaisky city area – located by the Penza region Investigative Department ordered to arrest Pashkov for the terms of court proceedings. Based on the information that is yet to be confirmed, Pashkov is accused of large-scale embezzlement (part 4, Art. 159 of the Criminal Code) during the construction of an important building – likely the perinatal center that Pashkov was assigned to thanks to obvious patronage of Vasily Bochkarev [Penza region governor from 1998 to 25 May 2015]. That helped him get back into big business. Currently, Alexander Pashkov has been placed in the pre-trial detention center,” says the message published by “Ulitsa Moskovskaya.”
Insofar, PenzaNews agency is yet to receive an official comment on the issue.
This is not the first time Alexander Pashkov faces a criminal case.
On 13 May 2010, the Penza Leninsky city area court sentenced the ex-mayor (also a former deputy chairman of the Penza region government) to 8 years and 6 months in penal colony and a fine of 500,000 rubles, along with a 2-year ban on employment in local governmental institutions in positions related to management and administration tasks.
The former official was found guilty on four articles of the Criminal Code: large-scale fraud; money laundering facilitated by a plan of a group of people using job position; abuse of office for lucrative or other purposes with damages incurred to the office; and civil case evidence tampering.
During that case, defendants Sergei Parinkin and Sergei Spalek who entered into criminal conspiracy with the former official to legalize illicit property were found guilty of fraud and money laundering; each of them received a delayed prison sentence of 6 months. The third accomplice of Alexander Pashkov, Valery Bogdanov, received a delayed sentence of 5 years with a 4-year probationary term.
Alexander Pashkov himself was detained by the FSB in Moscow on 24 April 2008, and arrested on orders of the Penza Leninsky city area court. In July 2007, he was removed from his post for “flagrant violation of official duties,” and faced two criminal cases – under Art. 28 of the Criminal Code, “Abuse of Office,” and later under Art. 159, “Large-Scale Fraud.”
According to the investigators, Alexander Pashkov used a network of agents to create several commercial companies, including “Gubernskaya Energy Company,” that allegedly aimed to resolve the issues in the regional energy field. He abused his office to generate falsified debt for state-owned unitary energy suppliers in the Penza region to the enterprises he controlled, which served as grounds to transfer the property to the “Gubernskaya Energy Company” (later converted into a joint stock company) for cheap.
Shortly before one of the court sessions in December 2008, Alexander Pashkov’s relatives offered the Penza region Ministry of State Property to gift the debated property, as well as other property bought during the bankruptcy proceedings, to the region free of charge. The Ministry positively reacted to the issue and informed the Penza region court and the Investigative Committee it no longer had any claims to property against Alexander Pashkov and other parties over the case in question.
However, in December 2008, Alexander Pashkov faced a new criminal case under Art. 174 of the Criminal Code, “Money Laundering.”
In April 2009, the Penza region court extended the pre-trial arrest of Alexander Pashkov to 25 July 2009.
On 10 July 2009, the acting prosecutor of the Penza region Victor Trifonov confirmed the intention to press charges against the former official.
The first court hearing over the case was held on 29 July 2009.
It took 10 months for the Penza Leninsky area court to review the case, with over 66 volumes of materials collected and more than 260 witnesses questioned.
The 13 May 2010 verdict, wherein the court found the defendant guilty, was subjected to five cassational appeals – three from Alexander Pashkov himself, and one from his lawyer and the litigant party (“Penzgorstroyzakazchik”) each.
The appeal reviews were delayed several times, as Alexander Pashkov’s lawyer was unable to appear in the court due to an illness.
As a result, the Judicial Chamber on Criminal Cases for the Penza region court, in its 13 October 2010 verdict after a review of all parties, changed the sentence and included one more day – 24 April 2008, when Alexander Pashkov was detained but not placed in the pre-trial detention center – into the spent term, leaving the rest of the sentence intact.
Alexander Pashkov was released on bail on 1 October 2012, with obligations to not change his permanent and work residence address without a preliminary notice of the police during the remaining sentence term.
Alexander Vladimirovich Pashkov was born on 29 October 1969 in Sverdlovsk city of the Luhansk region in the Ukrainian SSR, to a family of civil servants.
He graduated the Penza Engineering and Construction Institute (1991) with a major in Industrial and Civil Construction, qualified as a construction engineer.
He served his term in the Soviet Army in 1986-1988 as a member of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.
After graduating, Alexander Pashkov was sent to work in MMMC-4 “Agropromspetsstroy,” where he worked as a headman, a foreman, and a supervising foreman.
He moved into private business since 1993, beginning as a commerce agent in “Pride.” He worked as a director of “Iceberg” in 1993-1995, founded and led “Avers” (company specializing in wholesale power and heating supply) in 1997.
Since December 2001, he became a member of the Russian Federation Council and chairman of the Penza region Legislative Assembly in the upper chamber of the parliament.
In April 2002, he became the assistant governor of the Penza region.
In March 2004, Alexander Pashkov moved on to be the vice-governor and the head of the Penza region Construction and Road Network Department.
Between February and November 2005, he headed the Penza city administration.
From January 2006 to July 2007, he was the first deputy chairman of the Penza region.