18 Apr 2018 17:59

Investigators trying to find out why regional prosecutors obstructed fire safety inspections at Kemerovo shopping mall for several years

MOSCOW. April 18 (Interfax) - Investigators are in the process of determining why local prosecutors obstructed fire safety assessments at Kemerovo's Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall for many years, Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko told Interfax on Wednesday.

"The investigation is trying to find out why the prosecutor's office kept on prohibiting fire safety inspections at the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping and amusement center in Kemerovo for several years," Petrenko said.

"The Kemerovo city prosecutor and his assistant have been interviewed about the circumstances under which the owner of the center, Kemerovsky Konditersky Kombinat LLC, and the major tenant, Zimnyaya Vishnya Kemerovo LLC, were included in this category of business," she said.

The city prosecutor said that his assistant and he had been guided by what superior officials told them, Petrenko said.

The offices of the Emergency Situations Ministry's Kemerovo region branch were searched as part of the criminal probe, as were the homes of its chief and the chiefs of its sections, she added.

"The investigators have documents earlier seized from the offices of the Kemerovo region and Kemerovo city prosecutors that suggest that the prosecutors gave instructions to exempt businesses that fell into the categories of small and medium-sized business from planned inspections," Petrenko said.