This is an update on Boris Shalimov, a Far East Russian district official who was caught several years ago sending workers to Hubbardist courses at government expense. It is revealed in recent news that his former district is to be one end of an oil pipeline. Previous articles give accounts of events leading up to his present predicament.
In a different, unrelated 2006 case, former Russian Scientology student Viktor Kirienko was involved in the talks concerning Russia offering to provide Iran with enriched uranium for peaceful purposes
March 16, 2006
Anatoliy Gaynutdinov, administration chief of the Skovorodinsky district
-- One of the richest districts of the Amursky region is the Skovorodinsky district. It is also one of the most notorious of recent times. Its former head, Boris Shalimov, is currently in custody as a flight risk. The current head, Anatoliy Gaynutdinov, is today's guest on the Simple Issues program.
-- Anatoliy Nurzagayanovich Gaynutdinov, how did the Skovorodinsky district suddenly become rich? Where do you make your money?
-- One can say that the first matter was to collect tax debts. There was a time when the railroad, for a long period, and not only with us, but with other districts too, did not pay their taxes. They were accumulating, and the first action we took was to send a statement to the transportation ministry and the transportation chief, now he's the president. The case was properly examined, and finances started to flow. We are starting to get something back.
-- While other districts have not managed to do this, you succeeded completely, and therefore the district is receiving large payments.
-- We went through a vast amount of correspondence besides. According to the vertical line of authority, by this I mean the Transportation Ministry, we sent in all the particulars so that taxes were easily settled. This was their debt. The debt was settled satisfactorily and successfully.
-- They say the former district chief was giddy with success. Possibly from this, too. And he began to criticize the governor too obviously and too frequently, perhaps to point out his faults. What a result this brought. You were Shalimov's first deputy. Is there any measure of truth in these rumors?
-- I think there is more speculation than truth to the matter.
-- Your prognosis on how the story will come to a close? Is it going to court now?
-- Yes it's going to court, starting this fall. The case will be a procedural decision, this is understandable. There they will listen to the other side, too. They will study the evidence. And there I'll appear as a witness. Now the two sides are engaged in debate. That means one side presents an argument and the other, the defense, defends his position. It's difficult to predict what is yet to come.
-- What is your prediction?
-- I think that nothing serious will happen there.
-- Today you hear about Skovorodino at the highest levels almost as often as Blagoveshchensk. This is in connection with construction of the "Taishet - Skovorodino - Pacific Ocean" oil pipeline. What has been done already in preparation for construction or research?
-- This project will require a lot of time. From 13 to 16 December, at the invitation of Transnefti, I and a delegation from the Amursky regional administration went to Omsk to familiarize ourselves with the existing network there, and with the existing system of supplying the oil pipeline. We also got together with general director Chemakiniy. Correspondingly, we had a press conference, where certain questions were asked. How is Skovorodinsky district affected? That the pipe will go all the way from Taishet to Skovorodino is understandable. The most natural point in this sector is Skovorodino. A huge terminal will be constructed there, judging from what we saw in Omsk. 150,000 tons of oil are permanently kept in Omsk. In Skovorodinsky district that will be 500,000 tones. This is a huge volume of oil that will be permanently stored, will be pumped into containers. A two-way spur track -- in different directions -- will be created as soon as possible. The line will be flowing constantly and, of course, by demand.
-- You are getting a lot of new labor positions. How many are you planning for?
November 21, 2005
Journalists from AlphaTV.Ru managed to visit the holding cell where well-known city and regional men Boris Shalimov and Evgeniy Grigorev are in custody. Detention cell management does not usually tell journalists who is where. Actually, cell 237's current occupants were brought someplace else while the camera was rolling, and did not manage to give their opinion about their famous bunkmates. But correctional officers say that neither Boris Shalimov nor Evgeniy Grigorev were model prisoners.
The cell's occupants' sense of humor did not extend all the way inside. The "Welcome" sign on the mat made in China belies its goodwill and naiveté. But this is the only object here whose purpose is to create comfort. All the rest is standard and official.
This is not a VIP cell, the correctional officer specifies. They wanted to make a cell with a two-digit number, furnished like a hotel, with air conditioner, stuffed furniture and other odds and ends that would perhaps ease the burden of confinement, but that would take money, which they don't have. Therefore instead of the air conditioner they have the usual little fort: you start with a bit and get more. Relatives of the inmates brought in the refrigerator and the television. Actually, it is almost impossible to get them back. This is humanitarian aid which has been left for the brothers in need, says the corrections officer. Naturally the prison knows that there are famous people in this cell, but they do not do anything special for them. The only thing, they say in confinement, is that now these prisoners - intelligent people - are a rarity. They behave themselves and don't break the rules. The list of rules on the wall in the cell is old and yellow, but penciled in is an item about financial remuneration for work in the corrections system. After all, Shalimov and Grigorev were accused of financial crimes. On the whole, cell number 237 is the same as the rest in this building. Former duties and regalia somehow fade away behind the steel doors and grilled windows. The only people here are those restricted in freedom of movement.
November 21, 2005
News in the criminal cases of former government officials.
This week the criminal case concerning a former government official has been reborn. The city court changed the preventive detention for former chairman of the committee for municipal property administration Evgeniy Grigorev and released him from confinement, where he has been since the beginning of June. As a reminder, in May the prosecutor filed the criminal case against the former government official, specifying articles on fraud and negligence.
However the investigation did not manage to prove a number of violations that Grigorev had been accused of. He is also being detained as a flight risk. Nevertheless, they say, this does not affect the investigation for the days he spent in China with former first mayor of Blagoveshchensk Viktor Cheremisiniy. In the opinion of many observers, Evgeniy Grigorev's criminal case is a continuation of a conflict with old and new city management.
Still being detained as a flight risk is a former government official, former Skovorodinsky district head Boris Shalimov. He was accused under three articles of the criminal code: misappropriation of another's property, misuse of official authority and illicit collaboration in business activity.
Boris Shalimov's court hearing had been set for October 26, but was rescheduled for December because of illness of the accused's attorney. According to unofficial information, the defense is trying to gain time. Boris Shalimov has two lawyers, and the illness of one of them is said to be only a pretext to delay proceedings.
September 7, 2005
Boris Shalimov's criminal case not closed
A preliminary hearing in the case of a former Skovorodinsky district chief was held today in Skovorodinsky district court. Boris Shalimov was accused of several crimes in office. Not long ago he was released from the Blagoveshchensky prison, where he spent almost six months. And now he will be detained in Skovorodino as a flight risk. All those taking part in the trial appeared at the preliminary hearing. The defendant’s lawyer asked that the criminal case be dropped, but the judge refused his petition. He said the case will be heard on September 28.
July 29, 2005
Former Skovorodinsky district chief Boris Shalimov released from prison
Several minutes ago Boris Shalimov was released from preliminary confinement in Blagoveshchensk city. The former director of one of the regional districts who has been accused of several crimes in office entered the corrections center a little less than six months ago.
On March 16, 2005 the regional prosecutor announced the investigation was complete and was handing the case over to the Skovorodinsky district court. But none of the Skovorodinsky judges would accept it for consideration. The defense asked that the case be sent to Blagoveshchensk city court, but the Amursky regional court collegium decided to schedule proceedings in Svobodny city. On July 21 the supreme court made a decision about releasing him from custody as a flight risk. The court also rescinded the decision by the deputy president of the Amursky regional court about changing the jurisdiction of the criminal case, and sent the case to a new hearing in the same one, Skovorodinsky court. It was not until today that the official papers were sent to Blagoveshchensk. There to meet Shalimov in preliminary confinement were his father, brother, other relatives and friends. Boris Shalimov preferred not to comment on the cause of his stay in the corrections center and his subsequent release. The date to hear Shalimov's case is soon to be set by the regional court.
July 27, 2005
Shalimov will not be released right away. The original of the supreme court judgment is needed.
A copy of the decision of the supreme court about the release of former head of Skovorodinsky district Boris Shalimov is supposed to arrive in Blagoveshchensk tomorrow. A certified print copy of the judgment was released Tuesday afternoon but the court declined to issue an original, saying they could not send it out by mail.
Shalimov's lawyers Vladimir Terkin and Gennadiy Samodurov received a copy of the court's decision by fax and brought to the corrections center. However, confinement chief Pavel Marev was not at work and the officer on duty said "e would not be in today." His deputy was not on the premises. The lawyer received clarification. "Shalimov will not be released right away," said Vladimir Terkin. The staff had told him that he need an original of the supreme court's decision, but it was hard for him to say when he would get it. On July 21 the supreme court dismissed the decision of the regional court about detaining Shalimov as a flight risk and about transferring his case to Svobodnensky city court.
July 25, 2006
Boris Shalimov in corrections center awaiting papers from capital
An event that many expected to happen today did not take place after all. As a result the former head of Skovorodinsky district was not released from preliminary confinement.
The background is that Boris Shalimov was charged with misappropriation of another's property, misuse of official authority and illicit collaboration in business activity. The former head of Skovorodinsky district has been in the corrections center for five months. On July 21 the Supreme Court came to the decision to release him from detainment as a flight risk. The official papers with the Supreme Court decision have not yet arrived in Blagoveshchensk. In any case Boris Shalimov will probably be in preliminary confinement for another week. Quite often documents from Moscow arrive at the corrections center a month after the official decision from the Supreme Court.
Today Boris Shalimov's father was able to see him. His father said his son was in high spirits and now he was waiting for the official papers from the capital. The matter about where Shalimov's case would be heard in the future is to be decided by the regional court.
July 5, 2005
Supreme Court examines complaint by former head of Skovorodinsky district
Former head of Skovorodinsky district Boris Shalimov has been in the corrections center for three months. As his lawyer, Vladimir Terkin, announced, the RF Supreme Court would look at Shalimov's complaint about being released from detention on July 21.
The lawyer also asked that the legality of the regional court's decision about jurisdiction be examined. [...]
June 2, 2005
Regional council upholds appeal to release Boris Shalimov
The next appeal to release Boris Shalimov from a jail cell was upheld today by the deputies of the regional council. The former head of Skovorodinsky district was accused of: misappropriation of another's property, misuse of official authority and illicit collaboration in business activity. During the investigation Boris Shalimov was released after he posted bail. He left Priamur territorial limits without permission. He was arrested in Saint Petersburg in early February and brought to Blagoveshchensk. Since that time he has been in preliminary confinement. According to the specified law the two-month holding deadline was up in the beginning of April, but the regional court did not extend the deadline for detention until April 13.
Shalimov's lawyer Vladimir Termin believes that this is now a violation not only of his client's rights, but of a resolution by the Constitutional Court. Regional prosecutor Vyacheslav Sizov said, however, that the former district chief was being detained legally, and in this regard the Prosecutor General supported the regional prosecutor. The prosecutor added that he had personally examined nearly 200 like complaints, but the decision had always been one and the same. As Vyacheslav Sizov commented, the case had been in process nearly three months, and so all the deputies' appeals were supposed to be in court. However, the elected representatives of the people had limited themselves to an appeal to the prosecutor. In his opinion, it was up to the prosecutor to adhere to law.
May 23, 2005
Boris Shalimov still under lock and key. Regional council deputies intend to demand his release.
According to the specified law the two-month holding deadline was up in the beginning of April, but the regional court did not extend the deadline for detention until April 13. Shalimov's lawyer believes the decision of the regional court is illegal and has appealed to the Prosecutor General. Now his complaint is being looked at the investigations section of the Prosecutor General for the Far East Federal Region. [...]
April 18, 2005
Boris Shalimov, former head of Skovorodinsky District being detained illegally, says his lawyer. [...]
"According to the law there is a two-month time limit for detention, and we submitted an application to change the measure of punishment," Boris Shalimov's attorney Gennadiy Samodurov told an Alpha-TV correspondent. The prosecutor has justsubmitted the application to continue detention." [...]
It was said in the regional court that Boris Shalimov's detention deadline was extended on April 13. The court decision says that if the lawyers share the opinion that the rights of their client have been violated, they can appeal the decision.
Even while he was locked up, Boris Shalimov continued to be involved in politics. He repeatedly refused to announce his candidacy for elections as district hear or regional council deputy, but signed an appeal in support of his deputy Anatoliy Gaynutdinov. On April 10 Anatoliy Gaynutdinov beat his opponent by 21 votes in the second round of elections for district chief.
April 13, 2005
The criminal case of former Skovorodinsky district chief Boris Shalimov will be examined in court in the city of Svobodny. Upon completing the investigation, the regional prosecutor transferred the case to the jurisdiction of the scene of the crime. However all of the judges in the Skovorodinsky district refused the case in court.
"We don't have the right to tell you about the reasons the case was refused," the district court secretary explained to an Alpha-TV correspondent. In Boris Shalimov's lawyer's opinion, the judges withdrew fearing accusations of bias with regard to the accused. Shalimov's lawyer Gennadiy Somdurov said that after this refusal, the defense asked that Blagoveshchensk city court hear the case, but the court collegium decided to send the papers to Svobodniy.
March 16, 2005
The regional prosecutor sent former Skovorodinsky district chief Boris Shalimov's case to the district court, but the court secretary could not say whether the material had arrived.
By this time a third lawyer appeared to represent Mr. Shalimov, representative of law offices in St. Petersburg Vladimir Garin. Shalimov's Blagoveshchensk's lawyer Gennadiy Samodurov said that the lawyers were not going to submit anything new to the court, but intended to direct attention to the mistakes and incorrect interpretations of specific items during the course of the preliminary investigation. For instance, the attorneys doubted the investigation's assertion that "with an intent to commit a crime, referring to misappropriate of finances, Shalimov prepared a proposed Skovorodinsky district budget and send it to the district council." Besides that, the defense attorneys do not comprehend why the accused has been so far been kept in detention. After all the investigation did not even ask whether leaving the Amursky region had hindered the investigation.
February 24, 2005
Boris Shalimov, a deputy and the chief of the Skovorodinsky district, has not been at work this term. And now he is in Blagoveshchensk preliminary confinement. Boris Shalimov has been accused of misappropriation of another's property, misuse of official authority and illicit collaboration in business activity.
In the deputy's parliament they still have not heard when the deputy was put in preliminary confinement. So the first issue on the agenda for the people's elected representatives was a proposal to get a information from the regional prosecutor. Some of the parliamentarians insisted on the right of the deputy to participate in voting because he still had a deputy's plenipotentiary powers. However the request of the people's elected representatives was turned down. Shalimov had been on the run and they had searched a long time for him. Consequently the deputies decided to appeal to the prosecutor to release Boris Shalimov from his cell, but today's session was conducted without his participation.
February 15, 2005
Skovorodinsky district chief Boris Shalimov will be studying 17 volumes, with about 250 pages each, in his criminal case. He is now in preliminary confinement and is accused under several articles of the criminal code. As was reported in the regional prosecutor's office today, the accused and his defense will begin to familiarize themselves with the materials of the case over the following weeks.
Investigative actions are nearly complete. It was suspended during the time that Boris Shalimov, after posting bail, had traveled outside the limits of Priamur. He was apprehended in St. Petersburg. The 100,000 rubles bail he posted was transferred to the government.
The investigators denied visits from Boris Shalimov's father, wife and one of the regional deputies. The police believe that the district chief illegally spent 600,000 rubles on training government staff in Scientology-associated Moscow companies and appropriated 150,000 more for the same thing. Boris Shalimov's father asserts that training administration staff was carried out in accordance with law, and that the 150,000 in the case arose from incorrectly formulated documents for a loan that local deputies had provided the accused with.
Boris Shalimov was the first government official in the region to go to jail for suspicion of this sort of crime. Deputy governor Nikolai Kuleshov had earlier been accused of tax evasion, but his case was dropped after he paid the money. And Tambovsky district chief Sergei Tkachenko is looking at the material in his case. He was accused of government financial waste. He spent more than two million of the district's budget on building his home. That same situation also cropped up in Zei, where former mayor Anatoliy Korytkin used the budget to build a cottage at a cost of more than six million rubles.