And now for something truly bizarre.
While in America any anti-corruption “probe” typically results in a bank being slapped with a fine that is expressed in minutes, if not seconds, of its annual revenue, or, at worst, the corporate logo being sent to prison, in Russia things have a different “resolution.”
Moments ago, Boris Kolesnikov, former deputy head of Russian Interior Ministry unit overseeing economic security and anti-corruption, threw himself out of window during questioning today, according to the Russian Investigative Committee. Kolesnikov jumped from window while investigator, lawyer were out of room, Bloomberg reports, citing another Kolesnikov lawyer Georgy Antonov.
What is even more bizarre is that, if one will pardon the pun, third time was the suicide charm, as this was Kolesnikov third suicide attempt while under guard. Kolesnikov’s lawyer said his client suffered head trauma twice since his arrest and may have been subjected to physical pressure, Kommersant newspaper reported May 24.
And yet, despite Kolesnikov’s suicide, which may have also involved foul play as Moscow Times reports below, he will hardly take all his knows to the grave with him: after Kolesnikov was arrested in February, his former boss Lieutenant-General Denis Sugrobov was also dismissed, arrested in May. One wonders just how bad the corruption secrets must be for people to start dropping like flies?
More from Moscow Times:
Investigators have opened a probe into the bizarre death of the former deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s anti-corruption department, who reportedly jumped out of a window during questioning on Monday.
“During the interrogation, the investigator and lawyer left the room, and at that moment my client dove out the window. He is dead,” said Georgy Antonov, the lawyer of Boris Kolesnikov, Interfax reported.
The Investigative Committee posted a statement on its website with a different scenario, however, saying that Kolesnikov, who was being questioned over abuse of office accusations, had asked two guards to let him use the bathroom. He then knocked them over when they removed his handcuffs and jumped from the sixth floor balcony, the statement said.
Lyudmila Alexeyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group and a veteran human rights campaigner, cast doubt on the official version of events, calling the situation “very strange.”
“When he ran, knocked over the guards, he just knew that a window was open somewhere? It’s very strange somehow. It’s unclear whether he jumped himself or was thrown out,” Alexeyev said in comments carried by Interfax.
Investigators have opened a probe into Kolesnikov’s death, but Alexeyeva has suggested that a public monitoring committee conduct a separate investigation into the incident, Interfax reported.
Kolesnikov was arrested in February over accusations he had abused his position, the same charges that saw his boss, the head of the department, being personally dismissed by President Vladimir Putin.
Several other people were detained in the case, though no charges had been filed against Kolesnikov and the investigation was ongoing.
One thing is certain: whatever corruption exists in Russia, deadly as it may be, pales to the hundreds of billions in illegal wealth transfer that took place during the bank bailout after the Lehman failure, and which has yet to see any member of the ruling banker oligarchy sent to jail. Now executives of scapegoated foreign banks, that’s a different matter entirely.
And another thing: if this was the US, Kolesnikov would have been free long ago, but certainly not before greasing the palms of justice appropriately with the required “settlement” fee.