Colonel Alexander Berezhnoy, head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Food Department, has become the second person of interest in the high-profile criminal case concerning a bribe of 368 million rubles ($6.4m), APA reported citing Crime Russia.
Earlier, his subordinate Alexander Vakulin had been arrested on the same charges.
They are accused of the same crimes: fraudulent theft of about 20 million rubles when executing a contract of the Defense Ministry with the St. Petersburg company Profbiznes for supplying various food-related equipment (under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code), as well as taking bribes worth 368 million rubles from traders in exchange for general protection and assistance in obtaining contracts for the purchase of kitchens, bakeries, cisterns and other special equipment (part 6 of Art. 290 of the Russian Criminal Code).
The accused men appealed against their arrest. Berezhnoy's lawyers demanded to change the verdict to house arrest or bail, justifying this by the impeccable reputation of the suspect and his numerous awards for the merits to the state. Despite this, the court has not altered the measure of restraint, as the crimes he is charged with are grievous and extremely grievous.