A convicted Russian real estate tycoon said he bribed a State Duma deputy with a lavish penthouse, confirming an accusation made by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption team.
Sergei Polonsky, who was convicted but not jailed last year for an alleged $42 million embezzlement scheme that targeted investors in an upscale residential project in Moscow, claimed during hearings to have bribed State Duma Deputy Leonid Slutsky with a penthouse. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation said the 400 million ruble ($6.38 million) three-story penthouse was registered in the name of Slutsky’s wife.
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“When our project was on the verge of being seized, Mr. Slutsky and his relative said ‘you understand we won’t help you finish the Kutuzovskaya Milya [development project] just like that…pay us with a 1,000-square-meter penthouse’,” Polonsky told the Govorit Moskva radio station.
The tycoon accused Russia’s Investigative Committee of failing to follow up on his complaint against Slutsky a year and a half ago, saying “the judicial and law enforcement system simply doesn’t work.”
“It feels like people aren’t hearing what they’re told at all,” Polonsky was quoted as saying.