The Oboronservis fraud case seems to finally be wrapping up. To recap, in the autumn of 2012 the Russian Minister of Defense was sacked after a scandal broke regarding corruption in an agency [Oboronservis] dedicated to outsourcing services for the Ministry of Defence. Oboronservis was accused of defrauding the state through various schemes.
The main suspect, Yevgenia Vasilyeva, also happened to be having an affair with the Minister of Defense, Anatoly Serdyukov, at the time.
Vasilyeva was sentenced to a 5 year prison sentence this past May. She had already spent 2.5 years under “house arrest”, but had been spotted shopping in high-end Moscow stores during that time. Her lawyers had vowed to appeal.
On 20 August, it was reported that Vasilyeva’s father paid the state a fine of 216,287,223 roubles for all the defendants in the Oboronservis case.
Olga Romanova wrote on her Facebook page:
“It is reported that Yevgenia Vasilyeva has fully repaid the damages caused – 216 million roubles – and will be released tomorrow.”
Romanova also noted that Vasilyeva had “earned on the market: 216 million roubles was worth $7 million two years ago, and today, in order to achieve the desired amount of 216 million roubles you just need to sell $3 million.”
Komsomolskaya Pravda reported:
“Everyone who investigated the “Oboronservis” case is outraged in the extreme”, one of the participants in the investigation told RIA Novosti.
The Prosecutor had asked that Vasilyeva be sentenced to 8 years probation, to take her State Order of Merit, to fine her a million roubles, and to return to the victims 800 million roubles.
Yesterday, Oleg Kozyrev commented:
“The court did not oppose the parole of Vasilyeva. But did oppose the parole of Vitishko [an environmental activist arrested during the Sochi 2014 olympics]. And this is all you need to know about the parole system and the courts.”
Rustem Adagamov tweeted:
“Vasilyeva has been released from prison, where apparently she had never been. In Russia anything is possible.”
Ilya Shumanov of Transparency International wrote on Facebook:
“One of the most important principles of any anti-corruption campaign is the inevitability of real punishment for corruption. Lack of impunity. (No impunity).
You can speak countless words about the fight against corruption and send signals about its harm, but it is enough to release the corrupt and thus cancel out all that had been done previously, and [everything that had been] achieved.
Another anti-corruption campaign in the country has ended. Once again it has come to nothing.”
Konstantin Jankauskas noted:
“The “release” of Vasilyeva is a terrible shame for the country. A shameless and cynical public demonstration of the absolute impunity of public thieves before the law.
“Plunder and steal, the law does not apply to us.” This was the simple message that we received today.
Vladimir Osechkin publicized the name of the judge who made the decision to parole Vasilyeva:
“[Vasilyeva spent] 34 days in prison, and more than 90% of her time… just 5 minutes from the Kremlin.”
Osechkin noted the judge’s youth and said it was clear that the order had been sent down from above.
“I believe that in a year or two he will be promoted to a judge of the regional court. Unless, of course, he is not employed with a law firm with Vasilyeva.”