Former Deputy Governor of Russia's Omsk Gets 5 Years in Penal Colony

Yury Gamburg, the former deputy governor of Siberia's Omsk Region, was sentenced to 5 ½ years in a penal colony for his mismanagement and manipulation of land during his term as the director of the Department of Property Relations in Omsk City Hall, the TASS news agency reported Thursday.

The court concluded that between 2008 and 2012, Gamburg illegally granted several individuals and the company Krona 26 municipal land plots with an area totaling 26.5 hectares.

He sold these land tracts at a deliberately lowered rate, and the area was soon resold to new owners who constructed houses there. This caused municipal budgets to suffer losses of more than 200 million rubles ($3.13 million).

Gamburg's deputy at the time, Vadim Merenkov, was complicit in these actions, and is on an international wanted list, according to TASS.

Gamburg was arrested in June 2014, and spent almost two years awaiting the verdict in a detention center. He therefore has 3 ½ years left to serve.

He also incurred a 7.5 million ruble ($117,000) fine, and the court has seized his assets, including his mansion and his gun collection.

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