Dead to rights in Odessa

December 5, 2014

Somewhat late in the day, due to a desire to see where matters would lead, a local corruption issue where the dead are held to ransom, and the guilty are caught dead to rights.

Odessa’s notoriously corrupt Mayor, Gennady Truhanov, needless to say, has made numerous appointments of equally notoriously corrupt officials within his administrative hierarchy since taking office on 25th May.

Amongst this cancerous shower of nefarious low-life that he has duly appointed, was Gennady Chastkovskogo.  Part of Mr Chastkovskogo’s administrative responsibilities, the management of the city cemeteries.  His appointment to this latest role, commencing on 20th November 2014 – a full two weeks ago.

A full 12 days into his new role, on 1st December, Mr Chastkovskogo  was arrested for demanding and receiving a $9000 bribe relating to burial site allocations.  He has now been charged under Part 3 of Article 368 of the Criminal Code (which basically relates to an official employing undue advantage, on a large scale, in a conspiracy with a group of persons with intent to extort).  The tariff for this crime carries a term of imprisonment of 5 to 10 years, with disqualification from holding certain positions or engaging in certain activities for up to 3 years, together with the confiscation of property.

Bravo to the law enforcement authorities of Odessa – though anybody looking at the composition of the current Mayor’s appointments would consider catching the corrupt little more than shooting fish in a City Hall barrel.  Indeed they should practice their shooting skills there far more often.

The result, naturally, is that Mayor Truhanov has been forced to sack and replace an appointment he made only two weeks ago.

Mr Chastkovskogo’s replacement?  Sergei Stasenko.

Mr Stasenko was, and remains despite his new role, the head of the cemetery over which burial plots were the subject of demanded and received bribes that led to the arrest of Mr Chaskovskogo.  Thus one is left to ponder the nature of the charges against Mr Chaskovskogo.  Is it possible to have a conspiracy over burial plots at a city cemetery, that didn’t in some way involve that man who runs that cemetery?  Perhaps – but it surely raised questions over the judgement – or perhaps ingrained corruption – that runs through Mayor Truhanov’s system of appointments.

How long before the lustration law, poorly written as it is, reaches Odessa City Hall?  There will unquestionably be a lot of vacancies when it arrives, if it is followed through with integrity.


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