Today, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation visited Kemerovo to monitor the progress of the investigation into the fire in Zimnyaya Vishnya mall and to talk to victims and relatives of the deceased. 37 victims and their representatives came to meet the Chairman of the Committee and the investigators.
Alexander Bastrykin listened to the report on the done work over the probe. Investigative materials into seven accused were distinguished from the main probe: Sergey Genin, Igor Polozinenko, Alexander Nikitin, Georgy Sobolev, Nadezhda Suddenok, Yuliya Bogdanova, and Sergey Antyushin. In August, they and their advocates had proceeded to studying the case files of 230 volumes in total. Each of them has read about 150 volumes in average.
The criminal investigation into the main probe is ongoing. Alexander Mamontov, Grigory Terentyev, Andrey Bursin, and Tanzilia Komkova had been charged with commitment of offences under Part 3 of Article 293; Part 4 of Article 160; Part 3 of Article 285 (neglect of duty; embezzlement; abuse of authority) of the Criminal Code of Russia, in accordance with their involvement in the offence. A probe into Svetlana Shengerey, the Deputy Head of the Kemerovo Regional Inspection for State Construction Supervision, under Part 3 of Article 285 had been launched shortly before. She had been charged and taken to custody.
It must be noted that, up to date, none of the accused have pleaded guilty. Moreover, two perpetrators have refused from testifying.
The ongoing investigation revealed a number of new episodes of illegal activities of the convicts. In particular, Tanzilia Komkova was additionally incriminated with bribe-taking on a large scale (Part 6 of Article 290 of the Criminal Code of Russia). According to the investigation, in March 2014, she had received a Toyota Venza and a set of tyres of total value 1.5 million roubles from a CEO of an enterprise as a bribe for general patronage and condoning through the ranks.
Moreover, the preliminary investigation revealed that, in 2017 and 2018, Terentyev had swindled monetary compensation paid by the employer, which in fact had not been entitled to him (two episodes under Part 3 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of Russia). He will be newly charged soon in view of these facts.
The Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia instructed his subordinates to continue gathering and registering of the evidence, and identifying new possible perpetrators and episodes of illegal activity. He urged the investigative team not to lose momentum of the investigation and make steady progress on all fronts to continue building evidentiary base; to stay open and comprehensive and investigate all information incoming from citizens without missing a single detail.
Moreover, Alexander Bastrykin and the chief of investigative team provided detailed answers for questions previously asked by the meeting attendees. Rustam Gabdullin reported on the work done by investigators under motions and applications of citizens, including those about carrying out forensic examinations.
In total, 436 persons were considered victims and interviewed, including 83 relatives of those killed in the fire; 247 visitors of the shopping centre; and 106 owners of the premises, legal entities and sole proprietors acting in rented areas.
The victims expressed their intention to request the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Prosecutor’s Office to refer the hearing of the probe against seven convicts from the District Court assigned under general rules to a higher court.
Alexander Bastrykin suggested the victims using investigation assistance to prepare civil claims against the convicts to sue for damages under criminal proceeding, since less than a half of the victims had exercised the right up to date. At that, Alexander Bastrykin explained that the investigation had taken measures to secure execution of judgements under civil claims - the property of the convicts had been identified and arrested.
The Chairman of the Committee also listened to everyone who applied for his personal reception. People addressed him to solve some living, social and procedural issues. As a result, he instructed the investigation to assist in those issues.
At the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia thanked all the attendees for coming and for their active collaboration with the investigation despite everything they had been through. We are determined to establish all circumstances; and we are united in our desire to clarify the objective truth.
Alexander Bastrykin assured people that the criminal investigation is ongoing, the role of other persons in the tragedy is being established and, having the ground, they would be also given a legal evaluation.
Official spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Russia S. Petrenko