Narva council member suspected of corruption remains in custody

Aleksei Voronov.
Aleksei Voronov. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

The Tartu Circuit Court decided on Friday to leave Aleksei Voronov, head of the Kodulinn parliamentary group on the Narva city council and also a manager at local utility AS Narva Vesi, in custody. Voronov is a suspect in a large-scale corruption case.

While Voronov's defense argued that he has removed himself from all the positions that might compromise proceedings in the case, the court still decided that Voronov is to remain in custody.

Officers of the Central Criminal Police detained Voronov and six others early on March 26, following which the court initially approved a two-month custody order for Voronov.

The prosecutor would have also wanted to see construction businessman Sergei Berezovski placed under arrest, a suspect in the same criminal case, as well as another local businessman, but the court rejected the appeal.

Vladimir Mizui, another Narva city council member and the chairman of Narva Vesi's supervisory board, was taken in at the end of March as well. Mizui is suspected of having accepted bribes in exchange for declaring work carried out by a supplier to be of good quality, and to accept it. However, Mizui was released again shortly after.

Voronov himself is suspected of having abused his position as a city official and as a manager at Narva Vesi to offer unfair advantages to acquaintances bidding for public tenders in the city. This included adjusting the terms of the tender as well as allowing for changed bids while bidding was still ongoing, thereby making sure that his acquaintances would succeed.

Separately, as a member of the city council, Voronov also "helped" along with permits and in tenders, for which different parties paid him a total of nearly €60,000 in bribes.

The case currently involves eight suspects, but that number may well still go up, the Viru District Prosecutor's Office told media. The investigation is carried out by the Central Criminal Police and supervised by the Viru District Prosecutor's Office.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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