Kamnev: Zuev’s investigation end coincides with Penza governor’s election campaign start
Penza, 27 March 2015. PenzaNews. The end of investigation in the case against Andrei Zuev, deputy of the Penza region Legislative Assembly for the CPRF faction accused of being involved in a gang called “Zuevskiye,” was made to coincide with the beginning of the campaign for the gubernatorial election scheduled for September 13, suggested Georgy Kamnev, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Penza region, first secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party.
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“Why did the case spend eighteen months in review when the suspects allegedly have confessed to the crime? Why has it been transferred to the court only now? I think the answer is obvious. The gubernatorial elections will start this year: perhaps the authorities want to make a show on how they combat the opposition and keep everybody in check,” Georgy Kamnev told PenzaNews agency by phone during a break in the CPRF Central Committee plenary meeting in Moscow.
As the leader of the Penza Communists added, the detainment of Andrei Zuev and other defendants in the case on December 4, 2013, was followed by a joint press conference of Oleg Troshin, the head of the regional investigation department of the Investigative Committee, and Yuri Ruzlyaev, then acting head of the Internal Affairs Ministry in Penza. During the conference, the officials announced a criminal case under parts 1, 2 of Art. 209 of the Criminal Code, titled “Gang crime.”
“During the conference, they said all of them, including Zuev, allegedly committed grave crimes against people, down to murders, rape and so on. Even back then, we had been saying that was not true. Now we see proof that had been only some smoke and mirrors to show the public how ‘scary’ was the man they had arrested,” said the speaker.
Georgy Kamnev stressed that Andrei Zuev was immediately bombarded by state-owned media, including TV channels and Penza region local newspapers.
“We see a difference in their accusations, and the difference is not just a little one – it is colossal. I have a question to the authorities: how will they react on that now? They had been accusing a man of committing atrocious crimes. Let’s say I accuse one of them of murder: they will sue me at once. But law forces themselves, do they have any responsibility for their words? If a crime has not been investigated, perhaps one should not claim such atrocities? This only stresses the fact that it had been a political attack,” suggested the Legislative Assembly deputy.
Answering the question on possible damage the court process may do to the Penza CPRF branch, Georgy Kamnev told PenzaNews that the first public image that would suffer would belong to the law authorities and the region as a whole.
As a proof of his words, he recalled the results of the social and political stability rating compiled by “Petersburg Politics” foundation for December 2013: back then, the arrest of Andrei Zuev brought the region down in the rating.
“Besides, Andrei Zuev was neither a party committee member nor a head of the party branch: by and large, he was a regular new CPRF member. So I don’t think there will be any public damage done to us. And if a similar libel campaign starts again, like back when he had been arrested, our response will be strong. We will complain against the current authorities, the law forces and all parties involved. So it is yet to be seen who will lose his face more,” Georgy Kamnev concluded.