20 Nov 2017 11:41

Former governor Khoroshavin tells court didn't take bribes, apologizes to people of Sakhalin for not fulfilling plans

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. Nov 20 (Interfax) - Alexander Khoroshavin, a former governor of the Sakhalin region, told the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk City Court that he did not take any bribe and does not regret anything and apologized to the people of Sakhalin, his relatives, and his loved ones, an Interfax correspondent reported on Monday.

"I am saying firmly: there were no bribes, there was no personal financial gain. There was no organized group. The region had a system of publicity, transparency, collegiality, multi-stage federal and regional control, in which any personal decisions in the budget were ruled out. There is no golden pen, there is no billion. They distorted everything. Intimidating people with phone-tapping and prosecution, they made people say one 'bribe-bribe' mantra," Khoroshavin said.

Khoroshavin said he "worked in the post of governor sincerely and believed it was necessary and right."

"A new test has been given. And I don't know if I will stand it or not. I am not ashamed of anything, I have nothing to regret. The main thing is to go, to go forward, the road doesn't end," he said.

He asked the people of Sakhalin to forgive him for "not having been able to fulfil all plans and not meeting their expectations" and apologized to his relatives and loved ones for "not having saved them from trouble."

He also apologized to former colleagues who are also defendants in the criminal case (Sergei Karepkin and Andrei Ikramov) as well as people who were not prosecuted but lost their jobs or "are having their potential underused" as a result.

The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk City Court began the trial of Khoroshavin, former deputy regional governor Sergei Karepkin, former gubernatorial aide Andrei Ikramov, and former regional agriculture minister Nikolai Borisov on March 6, 2017.

They have been charged with bribery and laundering money. The bribes, according to investigators, total some 522 million rubles.