Headquarters of the former mayor of Inta Pavel Smirnov handed out free vodka to citizens on the eve of elections. For this, people had to vote for a particular candidate or party. The scheme was called "Fire Water". It was reported by the agency "Komiinform" referring to the lawyer of ex-mayor Stanislav Turkin. On January 26, Inta court held a hearing on the criminal case of Pavel Smirnov, suspected of taking bribes.
Former deputy of Inta Council, communist Vasily Kirienko was the first one who wrote about the scheme "Fire Water", used by Inta officials. He was present at the meeting on January 26. According to him, former deputy head of the Komi administration Alexander Serditov [accused of fraud and bribery] spoke in court via video and told about the distribution of vodka. He argued that the governor's administration officials have announced volume of alcohol required for welding of the marginal population in Inta and, consequently, their loyalty on the elections. Part of vodka came from Syktyvkar, Pavel Smirnov searched for the money to buy the rest.
It is not clear whether the "Fire Water" scheme applied once or several times.
According to "Komiinform" who spoke to the lawyer Stanislav Turkin, it was not Serditov who took part in video communication, but former head of the Komi Information administration Pavel Maruschak [one of the defendants in "Gayzer case"]. He said that "Fire Water" managed to attract about a third of all voters of Inta to election.
Scheme was found to be effective and recommended for use in other regions of Komi. The agency did not specify, when the "Fire Water" was launched, but said that the scheme existed till 2015.
"The defendant confirmed his testimony that he repeatedly traveled to the capital of the Komi Republic to give bribes to officials of head administration and regional government. Meetings took place in café "Lounge", "Komiinform" wrote.
Former mayor of Inta Pavel Smirnov is suspected of receiving several bribes. These scenes are combined into one. The investigation believes that he took the money for the overall protection and connivance and for actions for the benefit of those who gave bribes. Development fund was created in Inta, which received money from donors, but some of them was passed to Smirnov.
Maxim Polyakov, «7x7»