Russia charges governor of Penza in major bribery case

Russia charges governor of Penza in major bribery case
  • Clock-gray 15:49
  • calendar-gray 22 March 2021

The governor of Russia’s Penza region and a leading pharmaceutical executive has been charged in a large-scale bribery case, Russia’s Investigative Committee said Monday, APA reports citing Moscow Times.  

Ivan Belozertsev, Biotek pharmaceutical group founder Boris Spiegel and suspected accomplices were detained over the weekend on suspicion of exchanging bribes for lobbying Biotek’s interests.

Investigators said Belozertsev accepted money and valuables worth over 31 million rubles ($415,245) from Spiegel, his wife Yevgenia Spiegel and Biotek director Anton Koloskov from January to September 2020.

In exchange, Biotek, one of Russia's largest medicine suppliers, allegedly received special preference for government contracts related to the supply of drugs to Penza region healthcare facilities.

Belozertsev was ordered to two months of pre-trial detention Monday.

If found guilty, he faces disqualification from holding public office for up to three years, a fine up to 100 times the amount of the bribe and up to 15 years in prison. Spiegel and his associates face up to 12 years in prison plus a fine 70 times the amount of the bribe.

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