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Court convicts all accused in first case over Kemerovo shopping mall fire

 The court announced the first verdict in the case over a fire at the Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) shopping mall in Kemerovo where on March 25, 2018, some 60 people were killed, including 37 children. Eight defendants were sentenced to actual jail terms.

Among the convicted are the mall’s general director Nadezhda Suddenok, head of the Sistemnyi Integrator company Igor Polozinenko and Alexander Nikitin, engineer of a fire-protection system at this company, an employee of a private security enterprise Sergei Antiushin, watch commander of fire and rescue unit No.2 Sergei Genin, technical director of the Kemerovo confectionery factory Georgy Sobolev, the factory’s general director Yuliya Bogdanova, commander of the firefighting service of Kemerovo’s 1st anti-fire squad Andrei Bursin.

“By the verdict of Kemerovo’s Zavodskoy district court, Bogdanova was sentenced to 14 years of incarceration in a medium-security prison as well as deprived of the right to be involved in certain activities for 2.5 years, Suddenok [was sentenced to] 13.5 years of incarceration and 2 years of the deprivation of the right to be involved in certain activities, Sobolev [was sentenced] to 11 years as well as 2 years of the deprivation of the right to be involved in certain activities. Polozinenko and Nikitin were sentenced to 6.5 and 5.5 years of incarceration, respectively. Antiushin [was sentenced] to 8 years of incarceration. Genin and Bursin were sentenced to 5 and 6 years of incarceration, respectively,” Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko reported.

According to her, during the preliminary investigation, a group of over 100 investigators recreated the events of March 25, 2018, minute by minute, uncovering the causes of the accident which resulted in dozens of victims and collected supporting evidence in the process. “The main goal of the investigation was to establish all the individuals involved, including those who facilitated these tragic consequences,” she said. To this end, a set of investigative experiments was conducted.

Normative legal acts related to the issues of fire safety were examined within the framework of legal examination. “Its conclusion made it possible to determine that legal relations in this sphere are regulated in detail. Thus, combined with other evidence, the investigation has established the specific flaws of the rescue operation on the part of some firefighters as well as the fact that the leadership of the regional Emergencies Ministry was not conducting inspections of the observance of fire safety requirements and the operations of a facility with the mass presence of people and gave a legal evaluation to their actions,” the spokeswoman said. As a result of a thorough analysis, the investigators determined those individuals whose incorrect actions and incompetent decisions caused the loss of life. “It is obvious that during inspections and the issuance of documents confirming the compliance of the reconstructed building to construction rules and norms, the employees of the Federal Service for Construction Supervision and Inspection turned a blind eye to many things,” she noted.

The second case

Currently, the court is reviewing criminal cases against director general of OAO Kemerovo Confectionery Complex Vyacheslav Vishnevsky, head of the inspection of the Kemerovo Regional Federal Service for Construction Supervision and Inspection Tanzilya Komkova and her son, deputy head of the inspection of the Kemerovo Regional Federal Service for Construction Supervision and Inspection Svetlana Shengerey and director general of OOO ISK Resurs Nikita Cherednichenko, head of the Kemerovo Regional Main Directorate of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry Alexander Mamontov and head of the territorial department of supervision and prevention of the territorial directorate of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry Grigory Terentyev.

“The Investigative Committee brought to account all individuals whose actions or lack thereof predetermined the tragedy at Winter Cherry and are also in a causal relationship with the consequences of this fire,” the spokeswoman noted.

The fire at the Winter Cherry shopping mall occurred on March 25, 2018. Sixty people, including 37 children died in the tragedy, and another 147 were injured.

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