In Novosibirsk, the investigation of the scandalous criminal case of the director of the planetarium Sergei Maslikov is coming to an end. The charge of taking a bribe of about 200 thousand rubles, for which an astronomer was threatened with up to eight years in prison, was removed and incriminated with a softer article of the Criminal Code on abuse of power with a maximum sanction of up to three years in the colony. In addition, the investigators softened Mr. Maslikov's preventive measure: he was replaced by a house arrest with a written undertaking not to leave his place.
The Novosibirsk siloviki came to the finish line in the investigation of the criminal case against the director of the planetarium of the 58-year-old Sergei Maslikov, the regional department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation reported.
The case against Mr. Maslikov, who heads the planetarium from 2012, the siloviki brought on January 31, 2018. In early February, the scientist was arrested and charged under part 5 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code (taking a bribe in a large amount), which provides for punishment of up to eight years of imprisonment with a very impressive fine of 60 times the bribe. According to the initial version of the investigation, the scientist for a fee of 200 thousand rubles. rented expensive equipment of a planetarium for the production of video films. In defense of the astronomer, then came the collectives of dozens of schools, universities, research institutes, astronomical communities of various countries. The petition for release from the SIZO was signed by the director of the planetarium more than 10 thousand people. Among the first, who stood up for the head of the planetarium, was the pilot-cosmonaut Alexander Lazutkin. For a couple of months, that the astronomer spent in the cell, he, he said, was able to come up with a script for a science film.
In early March, the Oktyabrsky District Court of Novosibirsk, at the request of lawyers, released the accused under house arrest, allowing them to take daily walks by the house for two hours. At a court session on the election of a preventive measure, Sergei Maslikov then said that the amounts that appear in the case, he spent on the needs of the planetarium. "I am more interested in establishing the truth than anyone," the scientist said.
According to Kommersant sources in law enforcement agencies, a number of other corruption cases were subsequently initiated against the scientist, but before the charges were brought against new episodes it did not come.
As it became known, on July 30 an astrologer with a lawyer was summoned for interrogation in the UK. Law enforcers re-qualified the charge from bribery to abuse of authority (Part 1, Article 285 of the Criminal Code), the maximum sanction for it - three years of the colony. As indicated in the investigation materials, in the summer of 2015 and in the fall of 2017 "in violation of the established procedure for the transfer of municipal property on the balance of the planetarium, Sergei Maslikov received for renting equipment 760 thousand rubles."
The civil claimant in the case recognized the mayoralty of Novosibirsk, added to the investigation department. Vitaly Okunev, his lawyer, did not say what position the planetarium director took. He refused to comment on the investigation. Also, the siloviki changed Sergei Maslikov's measure of restraint to a softer one. Before the trial, the scientist will be under the obligation not to leave the place. For the duration of the trial, Sergey Maslikov was suspended from his job.