Former deputy governor of Chelyabinsk Region Nikolai Sandakov to stand trial

The fourth department of the Central Office of the Investigative Committee based in the city of Yekaterinburg has finished investigating a criminal case against the former Deputy Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Nikolai Sandakov. He is accused of committing crimes in violation of Part 4 of Article 159, Part 4 of Article 33, Part 3 of Article 272 of the RF Criminal Code (fraud and incitement to unlawful access to computer information protected by law).

The investigators believe that in 2011-2012, Sandakov, holding position of the chief governor assistant of the Chelyabinsk region, stole 1.5 million rubles from the city–manager of the Ozyorsk urban district of the Chelyabinsk region Yevgeny Tarasov, having promised him to commit acts directed at his appointment to the head position of Magnitogorsk in the future.

In addition, in 2013, Sandakov with the help of a computer technologies specialist Alexander Abroskin previously accused of similar crimes unlawfully accessed more than 10 thousand e-mails of the Chelyabinsk political scientist and the head of one of the governor administration offices of the Chelyabinsk region responsible for interaction with mass media disagreeing with Sandakov's activity.

In the evening on March 26, 2015, at the attempt to leave Ural Federal District Sandakov was detained at the airport of Chelyabinsk by employees of the Chelyabinsk Region Directorate of the Federal Security Service who carried out operational support on the criminal case.

Abroskin had absconded during investigation in the territory of a foreign state, wherefore he was put on the international wanted list while the criminal case in relation to him was separated.

In the framework of criminal case investigation criminal charge under Part 6 of Article 290 of the RF Criminal Code (acceptance of a bribe) was initially brought against Sandakov. However, as far as lack of official position signs of Sandakov for the moment of crime commitment had been established in the course of investigation, his actions were reapplied to the Article 159, part 4 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (fraud). In a connection with Sandakov's service instruction deficiency the Chelyabinsk Region Governor was caused with a respective nomination.

In the course of criminal case investigation high volume of investigative actions was held. Sandakov's guilt over actions he is accused in is corroborated by evidence collected, inter alia, even in an operative way, as well as by a testimony of witnesses among eyewitnesses of money transferring from Tarasov, findings of verifications of Sandakov's and Tarasov's testimony with use of a lie detector, protocols of items inspections, and expert reports.

I will especially note the fact that during preliminary investigation Sandakov previously supervised questions on organization of the Chelyabinsk region Governor interaction with mass media, as well as persons from his team repeatedly counteracted investigation proceedings through their subordinate mass media. Sandakov organized media numerous publications of materials groundlessly discrediting and criticizing investigation through mentioned mass media. The "mass media attacks" plan drafted in the interests of Sandakov, goal of which was to discredit investigators and operational employees, as well as to form image of an accused as a «political victim», is attached to the materials of the criminal case.

In addition, using the institution of complaints and petitions submission as a tool for pressing investigation, Sandakov and his defenders laid more than 100 complaints and petitions which were considered in the prescribed manner. At the same time all the complaints entered to the court and prosecutor’s office were rejected, the breaches in actions of investigating bodies were not revealed.

Despite conducted counteraction, adequate evidentiary base is collected by the investigating bodies, wherefore the criminal case against Sandakov is directed for indictment approval and the subsequent transfer to the court for consideration on the merits.

Head of Media Relations                                                                                                                              V.I. Markin