Andrei Zuev to get deputy’s powers revoked after positive verdict on extortion case
Penza, 30 March 2016. PenzaNews. Andrei Zuev, deputy of the Penza region Legislative Assembly of the fifth convocation for the CPRF faction, will have his deputy’s powers revoked due to a positive verdict on the extortion case against him, the head of the press service for the regional parliament Marina Timokhina informed PenzaNews on Wednesday, March 30.
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According to her, as soon as the verdict is received by the parliament, it will begin the procedure of revocation of deputy’s status under Paragraph 4, Art. 4 of the regional law No. 829-ZPO “On Status of Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Penza Region.”
“The law does not outline the deadline for the procedure,” she clarified.
The next session of the Penza region Legislative Assembly is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 5.
As “PenzaNews” agency reported earlier, Andrei Zuev, deputy of the Penza region Legislative Assembly of the fifth convocation for the CPRF faction, was detained on 4 January 2013 on charges of orchestrating a criminal gang “Zuevskiye.” During the press conference held on the same day, the then acting head of the regional Ministry of the Interior department Yuri Ruzlyaev and the head of the regional Investigative Committee branch Oleg Troshin announced the first details of the law enforcement operation.
The investigation of the crimes related to the deputy was one of the first resounding cases for Yuri Ruzlyaev who headed the Penza region Ministry of the Interior department in August 2013.
Back at the time of detention, Georgy Kamnev, first secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Penza region, reacted by saying the case was a political one. Later on, in spring of 2015, the deputy confirmed his words and added that the end of investigation against Andrei Zuev was made to coincide with the beginning of the Penza gubernatorial election campaign.
The Gorodische area court received the criminal case on 31 March 2015, with a total of 5 people, including Andrei Zuev, as defendants.
On April 22, the court dropped criminal charges against two of the defendants accused of hooliganism.
The sentence on the case has been announced by the Gorodische area court on 12 January 2016. Andrei Zuev was found guilty of committing crimes under Paragraphs A and V, Part 2, Art. 163 of the Criminal Code, “Extortion”; and Part 3, Art. 33, Part 1, Art. 163 of the Criminal Code. Overall, Andrei Zuev was assigned a sentence of 6 years in general penal colony.
Two other defendants, Mikhail Kutyrkin and Oleg Gorshilin, were found guilty under Paragraph A, Part 2, Art. 163 of the Criminal Code, “Extortion,” for crimes committed in 2003-2005, and sentenced to 3 and 2 years in prison respectively.
However, the three were released under Art. 78 of the Criminal Code because the statute of limitation has expired. Moreover, Andrei Zuev was released from the courtroom on pledge not to leave town.
Georgy Kamnev, first secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Penza region, stated that the CPRF members positively reacted to the news of their comrade being released. In his comment to PenzaNews, he suggested that Andrei Zuev would be continuing to actively work for the good of the people in the region.
However, Alexander Vasilyev, coordinator of the Penza regional LDPR branch, claimed that Andrei Zuev must be relieved from his deputy powers.
Maria Timokhina, head of the press service of the regional parliament, explained that the law “On Status of Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Penza Region” allows to consider revoking the powers of Andrei Zuev only after a positive verdict on the case.
On January 13, the regional branch of the United Russia party posted a harsh reaction on the verdict in Andrei Zuev’s case, and expressed hope that common sense would prevail and the sentence would be appealed.
On January 22, the state prosecutor appealed the case with intent to cancel the sentence and send the criminal case for another review.
The verdict of the Gorodische area court came into force on March 30 after it was upheld the Penza regional court.