The Chelyabinsk Regional Court refused to consider a criminal case on a bribe in the amount of 3 billion rubles. State Duma deputy Vadim Belousov and his mother-in-law Margarita Butakova. The materials were sent to the Moscow City Court, because the accused received most of the money for their assistance in obtaining multibillion-dollar road contracts in the capital. The opinions of the defendants' lawyers about changing the territorial jurisdiction of the case were divided. Vadim Belousov’s representative supported the court’s decision, and Ms. Butakova’s lawyer asked for a trial in Chelyabinsk, because there are more than 130 defense witnesses there.
The Chelyabinsk Regional Court transferred a criminal case on accepting a bribe on an especially large scale (part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) against the State Duma deputy from Fair Russia Vadim Belousov and the former chief accountant of the Chelyabinsk OJSC First Bakery Plant Margarita Butakova, on jurisdiction to city Court. This decision was made because the crime was completed in Moscow. Also, according to the version of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR), Vadim Belousov and Margarita Butakova took most of the bribe in the capital. There they received more than 3 billion rubles. from January 2011 to January 2014, and in Chelyabinsk they received 89 million rubles. in 2011-2012.
Vadim Belousov previously filed a petition to refer the criminal case to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the Republic, the regional or regional court, the court of a city of federal significance, the court of the autonomous region or the court of the autonomous region. The Chelyabinsk Regional Court upheld the preventive measure against Vadim Belousov and Margarita Butakova in the form of a recognizance not to leave the place. The press service of the instance explained that if the Moscow City Court undertakes to consider the case, the regional court will give permission to Mrs. Butakova to travel from Chelyabinsk to Moscow to attend the hearings.
Vadim Belousov is under recognizance not to leave the capital, said his representative Igor Trunov.
He believes that the regional court made the right decision by transferring the case to the Moscow City Court. “It’s not a fact that I’ll work there, because I haven’t submitted a warrant to the Moscow City Court, I don’t have an official status yet. But I, as a specialist in law, can say that it was initially surprising how the case got to Chelyabinsk. The end of the alleged crime was in Moscow. In accordance with the law, this is the Moscow jurisdiction. How the case flew to Chelyabinsk is not clear. It's good that we sorted it out and returned it, ”said Mr Trunov.
The lawyer of Margarita Butakova, Yevgeny Eremeev, in court insisted that the case should not be transferred to Moscow, because there are important witnesses in Chelyabinsk. As he told Kommersant, the defense has not yet decided whether to appeal the change in territorial jurisdiction. “We have applied for a trial in Chelyabinsk, where there are 130 witnesses in our case. We did not see what formulation the regional court laid down. We have not yet decided whether we will appeal. Our client is in Chelyabinsk, she is an elderly person. If the place of consideration of the case is changed, she will have to travel to Moscow, ”the lawyer said.
According to the TFR, Vadim Belousov, being a deputy of the legislative assembly of the Chelyabinsk region, his mother-in-law Margarita Butakova and other persons in the organized criminal group of the then governor of the Chelyabinsk region Mikhail Yurevich received more than 3 billion rubles. from representatives of the Yuzhuralavtoban holding. For this, the companies provided preferences when concluding contracts for the repair of roads in the region.
The money, according to the ICR, was transferred both in Chelyabinsk and in the capital.
Margarita Butakova was initially suspected of mediating in the transfer of bribes together with the director of the Moscow office of the Makfa company, Andrei Churkin (disappeared from the investigation), then the charge against her was re-qualified, now she is under the same article with her son-in-law. The woman does not admit her guilt.
The State Duma allowed Vadim Belousov to be prosecuted, depriving him of his parliamentary immunity in December 2018 at the request of the Prosecutor General's Office. 353 deputies from United Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party voted for then, 21 representatives of A Just Russia (from which Mr. Belousov was elected) and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation voted against, two more parliamentarians abstained.
Then, for the first time in 25 years, a similar issue was discussed in the lower chamber behind closed doors.
Mr. Belousov does not admit guilt.
Mikhail Yurevich was put on the international wanted list in 2017 and arrested in absentia. By that time, the case related to Yuzhuralavtoban had not yet been initiated, the ex-head of the region was prosecuted on charges of taking a bribe from Health Minister Vitaly Teslenko. Mikhail Yurevich left the country, now the former governor is in Great Britain, which refused to extradite him to Russian law enforcement agencies.