Ulyanovsk deputy Roman Guchkin called a bribe to the Ministry of Health a collection of aid
Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Ulyanovsk Region Roman Guchkin testified in the bribery case.
Roman Guchkin, a deputy of the legislative assembly of the Ulyanovsk region from the United Russia party, assistant to the head of the region Alexei Russkikh, spoke in court as a witness for the defense in the criminal case of Sergei Kurkov, the beneficiary of the Alliance Clinic group of companies. The entrepreneur is accused of transferring 2 million rubles. bribes to the Minister of Health Alexander Gashkov on July 1, 2022 for obtaining government contracts for the supply of medical equipment. In addition, the investigation believes that the businessman additionally promised Roman Guchkin 15% of the profits that these state contracts would bring. In court, Roman Guchkin stated that there was no talk of any interest; with Sergei Kurkov, as well as with other business representatives, only the collection of assistance for the needs of the Northern Military District was discussed. Sergei Kurkov did not admit guilt.
As part of the criminal case regarding the transfer of a bribe by businessman Sergei Kurkov to the regional Minister of Health Alexander Gashkov (Part 5 of Article 291 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), on September 25, in the Leninsky District Court of Ulyanovsk, a deputy of the legislative assembly of the Ulyanovsk region from the United Russia party, assistant to the governor Alexei Russkikh, was interrogated Roman Guchkin. According to investigators, Sergei Kurkov transferred 2 million rubles to the regional Minister of Health. for recognition of the justified purchase of expensive medical equipment for the needs of the State Institution “Baryshskaya RB” and the State Institution “Regional Clinical Oncology Dispensary” according to the technical specifications proposed by the businessman. In addition, according to the investigation, at a meeting between the minister and the businessman, they allegedly discussed the transfer of 15% of the profits that government contracts would bring to a certain “dad” through the mediation of Roman Guchkin. According to investigators, the suspect gave the minister an illegal reward on July 1, 2022. On the same day, Alexander Gashkov handed over the money to employees of the regional FSB department who carried out operational investigative activities. A week later, Alexander Gashkov resigned of his own free will. Together with him, First Deputy Minister Andrei Dadianov, Deputy Minister Valery Zhorov and Director of the Department of Healthcare Development Vladimir Yain resigned.
Alexander Gashkov was appointed acting. Minister of Health on July 15, 2021. Before moving to the regional Ministry of Health in 2020, the doctor headed the Novospasskaya Regional Hospital for three years.
The beneficiary of the Alliance Clinic Group of Companies was detained on August 25. He did not admit his guilt. The businessman’s lawyer, Andrei Kireev, said that a provocation was committed against his client by Alexander Gashkov. The businessman allegedly interfered with state tenders to companies from the Chita region with which Gashkov collaborated and which participated in tenders for the supply of medical products in the Ulyanovsk region.
According to the lawyer, Sergei Kurkov actually gave the minister 2 million rubles, but Alexander Gashkov asked for this money as a loan. In addition, according to the lawyer, the minister allegedly demanded “gratitude” from the businessman for the Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Ulyanovsk Region, Sergei Kuchits. Deputy Minister of Health Andrei Dadianov allegedly persuaded the entrepreneur to give illegal remuneration through the mediation of Gashkov; the goal was allegedly to further blackmail the Deputy Prime Minister.
Two weeks ago, another witness, Dmitry Ulyanov, the general director of the Alliance Clinic structure – Prime-Med Plus LLC, spoke in court, who confirmed that the ex-minister asked to borrow money. According to the investigation, Mr. Ulyanov gave Mr. Gashkov a flash drive with technical specifications for the state purchase of medical equipment.
Another witness, the defendant’s nephew Yuri Kurkov, who, according to investigators, was preparing a manual for government procurement, said that the businessman planned to send 15% of the total profits of the group of companies to a charity fund to help SVO soldiers. This is exactly what, Yuri Kurkov said, was discussed at the meeting of Sergei Kurkov with Roman Guchkin and Oleg Lobunts, Hero of Russia and adviser to the governor on interaction with veteran organizations. Oleg Lobunets confirmed this information in court.
During questioning in court, Roman Guchkin stated that he did not receive bribes from Sergei Kurkov and does not remember discussing with him a percentage of the profit; only feasible assistance to the SVO fighters was discussed. The witness did not deny the fact of the meeting, but said that he did not remember the details, since he held meetings with a large number of people.
According to the deputy, he met Mr. Kurkov in the spring of 2021 at an official event. “Against the background of the beginning of the SVO, we began to maintain relations. There was a working meeting with representatives of enterprises, who were informed that, whenever possible, they should engage in charity and humanitarian assistance. A special account was created, and a very large number of conscientious citizens worked with this fund,” the parliamentarian said in court. The prosecutor reminded Roman Guchkin that the audio recording available to the investigation contained information that kickbacks were allegedly transferred through him. The deputy of the Legislative Assembly replied that this was not so. When asked how often the deputy communicated with Sergei Kurkov, Roman Guchkin replied that the relationship was of a working nature, but communication was infrequent.
An independent lawyer, honorary lawyer of the Russian Federation, Lyudmila Moroz, when asked by a correspondent to evaluate the impact of witness Guchkin’s testimony on the course of the trial, explained that what is more important is what testimony the witness gave at the stage of the preliminary investigation: “By the beginning of the trial, when emotions subside, in some cases witnesses change position, and in court, the testimony “hot on the heels” is primarily taken into account. Moreover, it matters whether the person’s words are contradicted by other witnesses.”
As Sergei Kurkov’s lawyer Andrei Kireev said, at the preliminary investigation stage Guchkin gave the same testimony. Andrei Kireev noted that Roman Guchkin was first interrogated in the spring of 2023, 9 months after Kurkov’s arrest. “During this time, of course, you can forget the details of the meeting,” says the lawyer.
A few weeks before the detention of Sergei Kurkov, FSB officers detained Igor Edel, adviser to the governor of the Ulyanovsk region Alexei Russkikh, together with his assistant Dmitry Smirnov, and the head of Dimitrovgrad Andrei Bolshakov. Governor Alexei Russkikh soon announced that Mayor Bolshakov would lose his post due to loss of confidence. Later, Igor Edel was also fired. Andrey Bolshakov and Igor Edel are accused of receiving a bribe on an especially large scale (Part 6 of Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, up to 15 years in prison); at the request of the investigation, both accused were chosen as a preventive measure in the form of detention. According to sources, the arrested ex-officials are accused of receiving a bribe from the head of TSK Volga LLC for general patronage in commercial activities, including the conclusion and execution of municipal contracts for construction work in Dimitrovgrad, however, prompt development in relation to the ex- the mayor of the accused was started while clarifying the circumstances of the theft of budget funds during the restoration of social facilities in the Lugansk region.