At about 2 am on July 9, the Investigative Committee announced the arrest of the Governor of the Khabarovsk Territory Sergei Furgal. The detention was carried out by the investigators of the Investigative Committee together with the FSB officers. The official statement of the Investigative Committee indicates that the head of the region will be charged in the near future.
“The investigation intends to go to court to choose a preventive measure against him in the form of detention,” said Svetlana Petrenko, an official representative of the Investigative Committee.
Furgala was detained in the framework of a criminal case, which was dealt with by the Main Directorate for Investigation of Particularly Important Cases of the Investigative Committee. According to the TFR, this is an organized criminal group involved in the organization and commission of a number of especially grave crimes against the life and health of entrepreneurs in 2004-2005 in the Khabarovsk Territory and the Amur Region.
The investigation suspects Furgal of organizing the attempted murder and murder of a number of entrepreneurs. He is charged with committing crimes under Part 3 of Art. 30, (attempted crime), part 3 of Art. 33 (complicity in a crime) and p. "B", "g", "h" part 2 of Art. 105 (murder). If he admits guilt, Furgalu faces a prison sentence up to life imprisonment.
The Investigative Committee indicated that in addition to Furgal, four active members of the organized criminal group were previously detained and arrested, who were charged depending on the role of each in the commission of crimes.
At present, investigators continue to take active steps aimed at collecting and securing evidence of guilt of members of an organized criminal group in the acts incriminated to them, as well as checking their involvement in other especially grave crimes committed in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories, as well as in the Amur Region, it is said in the message of the department.
State Duma Deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party Sergey Furgal headed the Khabarovsk Territory in September 2018. In the second round of elections, he defeated United Russia candidate Vyacheslav Shport, who had headed the region since 2009.
In the early 2000s, when an organized criminal group was operating, as reported by the Investigative Committee, Furgal was engaged in commercial activities. First, he headed a firm that traded timber, and then a company that collected scrap ferrous metals.
In 2005, Furgal, who by that time had become a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, was elected a deputy of the legislative assembly of the Khabarovsk Territory, and two years later, a deputy of the State Duma.
In 2019, Nikolai Mistryukov, a former business partner of Furgal, was arrested in Moscow. He was suspected of involvement in the 2004 contract murder of businessman Yevgeny Zori in Khabarovsk and the attempted murder of Alexander Smolsky, a businessman from the Amur Region. He was also suspected of the murder of Oleg Bulatov, who also had common interests with Furgal in the scrap metal trade.
Who else was detained among the incumbent governors
Over the past 20 years, several former leaders of the subjects of the federation have been detained in Russia, but only in a number of cases were the current heads of the region discussed.
On March 4, 2015, the Governor of the Sakhalin Region, Alexander Khoroshavin, was detained at his workplace. During the search, they found RUB1 billion in cash. Already in the pre-trial detention center, the head of the region was deprived of his powers. In 2018, he received 13 years in a maximum security penal colony for corruption.
Also in 2015, Vyacheslav Gaizer, a member of the Supreme Council of United Russia, the head of Komi, was detained on charges of organizing a criminal group trying to seize state property. In 2019, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
On June 24, 2016, while receiving a bribe, Nikita Belykh, the former leader of the Union of Right Forces party, who at that time was the head of the Kirov region, was detained. A month later, he was dismissed “due to loss of confidence” and then sentenced to eight years in prison.
On April 4, 2017, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against the head of Udmurtia, a member of United Russia, Alexander Solovyov. He was suspected of accepting a bribe on an especially large scale. Solovyov was dismissed. He is currently under house arrest.