Law enforcement officers conducted searches in the city council of Evpatoria and detained its chairman Olesya Kharitonenko, informs TASS, citing a source in the region’s law enforcement agencies.
The interlocutor explained that in the afternoon the court will choose a measure of restraint for the official. Kharitonenko has headed Evpatoria since 2014 and is the chairman of the local branch of United Russia. She is also a member of the Russian State Council as one of the two heads of municipalities. The State Council includes heads of regions, presidential envoys and other senior officials.
According to a TASS source, the security forces are also carrying out investigative actions with the head of the Yevpatoria administration, Roman Tikhonchuk.
Olesya Kharitonenko is charged with abuse of office (Article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) after the transfer of a land plot from the recreational zone to the housing construction zone and the construction of a high-rise building.
Later, the source clarified that Tikhonchuk is in the case in the status of a witness. Last week, the head of Crimea, Sergei Aksenov, ordered to issue a reprimand to Roman Tikhonchuk for disrupting the construction deadlines for improvement projects in Yevpatoria, writes “Crimea. Realities”.
Olesya Kharitonenko was elected the head of the city – the chairman of the Evpatoria city council on September 23, 2019. In December of the same year, she was re-elected as the chairman of the Council of Municipal Formations of Crimea. In December 2020, Kharitonenko became a member of the State Council of the Russian Federation.
Tikhonchuk headed the administration of Yevpatoria in October 2019. Prior to that, he served as the head of the city administration for six months. Tikhonchuk’s predecessor in this post, Andrei Filonov, was sentenced to three years and eight months in a penal colony for fraud with land plots. According to the FSB, the actions of the official caused damage to almost 80 million rubles.
From 2010 to 2019, Tikhonchuk was a deputy of the Evpatoria City Council of several convocations. Since 2013, he has also been the head of the Evpatoria Football Federation, and since 2015, he has been the President of the Evpatoria Football Club.
The searches in Yevpatoria were preceded by the arrests of other Crimean officials. On September 24, the Kievsky District Court of Simferopol arrested the former Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Yevgeny Kabanov and the former Minister of Construction and Architecture of Crimea Mikhail Khramov.
Evgeny Kabanov is suspected of large-scale fraud. According to the investigation, as Deputy Prime Minister, he caused damage to the Crimean budget in the amount of 57.5 million rubles. The investigation is related to the construction of an object intended for water supply to the peninsula.
Khramov is accused of a similar crime, including overstating the estimate for the construction of a water conduit by 57.5 million rubles.
September 27 source “RIA Novosti” reportedthat against the background of the Kabanov case “a number of questions arose to the leadership of several cities.” Speech, in particular, said the interlocutor, is about the possible resignation of the heads of Evpatoria, Feodosia, Sakov, Sudak and Armyansk.