The Ministry of Emergency Situations said that they consider unfounded civil claims filed against the defendants in the criminal case about the fire in the Kemerovo shopping center “Winter Cherry” – the former head of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Emergency Situations for Kuzbass Alexander Mamontov and the former chief state inspector for fire supervision in Kemerovo Grigory Terentyev. In total, according to Kommersant, 85 such lawsuits were filed in the case from relatives of those killed in the fire. Compensation claims for each deceased amount to 15 million rubles. The Ministry of Emergency Situations insists on the innocence of officials of the regional administration, who, according to the agency, acted in accordance with the law.
In the Central District Court of Kemerovo, the debate at the third trial on the case of a fire in the Zimnyaya Cherry shopping center, the defendants of which are the former head of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia for the Kemerovo Region, Alexander Mamontov, and the former state fire inspector of Kemerovo, Grigory Terentyev, has ended. Dmitry Tenkov, senior inspector of the legal department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia, who spoke at the hearing, stated that the claims for compensation for moral damages filed by the relatives of those killed in the fire were groundless.
The fire that occurred on March 25, 2018 in the Zimnyaya Cherry shopping center killed 60 people, including 37 children.
Alexander Mamontov and Grigory Terentyev are accused by the ICR of negligence, which led to the death of people (part 3 of article 293 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The former is also charged with embezzlement (part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), and the second – fraud using his official position (part 3 of article 159). The defendants in the criminal case deny their guilt. The state prosecution requested 14 years in prison for Alexander Mamontov, and 10 years for Grigory Terentyev.
As Kommersant was clarified in court, 85 claims were filed against them from victims demanding compensation in the amount of 15 million rubles. for each person killed in the fire. “Claims are not subject to satisfaction, since compensation for harm can be imposed by the court on the one who caused the harm, only if there is a causal relationship between his actions or inaction. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the practical circumstances of the case, the proportionality of compensation to the consequences of the violated rights and the personality of the tortfeasor himself,” Dmitry Tenkov said.
He also declared the innocence of the defendants in the case, noting that “sufficient circumstances have been identified that indicate the absence of guilt of officials of the Main Directorate of the Russian Emergencies Ministry for the Kemerovo Region, since they act strictly in accordance with the current legislation of the Russian Federation.” “The materials of the criminal case confirm the lack of guilt of the defendants in the failure to carry out control measures to ensure that the fire safety of the building of the Zimnyaya Cherry shopping center was inconsistent,” Tenkov said, noting that the defendants were characterized extremely positively and for many years were recognized as the best in their positions.
Dmitry Tenkov recalled that in the framework of another criminal case on Winter Cherry, the defendants in which are firefighters Sergey Genin and Andrey Bursin, the recovery of moral damages has already been awarded. The case was heard in May 2022. As it was reported at the time, the court exacted 75,000 or 150,000 rubles from the Ministry of Emergency Situations in different cases. in favor of the relatives of each of the 60 people who died in the mall. The Ministry of Emergency Situations appealed this decision.
“The claims in this criminal case are no different, and at the same time they are not tied to the actions of the defendants, they do not dispute the arguments presented during this trial,” said Dmitry Tenkov.
According to him, criminal prosecution for failure to carry out control measures in relation to the building of the mall leads to the emergence of “negative and illegal practices, according to which any administrative person outside his competence will be held responsible for incidents at the facilities.”
Anastasia Tyatenkova, a representative of the state prosecution, did not agree with the position of the Ministry of Emergency Situations. She noted that the defendants could notice violations of fire safety, “which could become a reason for an unscheduled inspection of the Winter Cherry building (the planned one was scheduled for 2020. – Kommersant-Siberia”), if they participated in the work of the anti-terrorist commission under head of Kemerovo.
Alexander Mamontov said that too many assumptions were made in this case for charges to be made. And Grigory Terentyev replied that participation in the work of the commission does not imply control over compliance with fire safety. The next court hearing in this case is scheduled for May 17, at which the defendants will be given the opportunity to make their last word.