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Rock Musician Implicated in Rosbank Bribery Scandal

Andrei Kovalyov piligrim-rock.ru

A bribe that Vladimir Golubkov, head of Societe Generale's Russian unit Rosbank, allegedly received for easing the terms of a multimillion-dollar loan, came from rock musician and former lawmaker Andrei Kovalyov, Business FM radio reported Friday.

On Friday, Moscow's Presnensky court put Golubkov under house arrest until June 16, RIA Novosti reported.

Andrei Kovalyov, now deputy head of real estate company Avto Prestizh 1, was a deputy in the Moscow City Duma between 2005 and 2009. Kovalyov, who is also the leader of the Pilgrim rock band, has appeared in many music videos as a macho character riding a motorcycle.

Kovalyov told reporters that he received threats from bank managers after he asked to delay the loan repayment. “They called me every time, demanding money,” he said in televised comments Saturday.

On Thursday, investigators charged Golubkov with bribery after police released a video of the banker with piles of 5,000 ruble ($156) notes on his desk.

They did not name the businessman who supposedly bribed Golubkov but said the money in the photo was part of a total payment of $1.5 million that Golubkov had extorted from a group of businessmen.

The businessmen wanted Golubkov to lower the interest rate and extend the repayment term on an $80 million loan with Rosbank, investigators said.

The money was to be passed to Golubkov through an intermediary, Rosbank's senior vice president Tamara Polyanitsina, investigators said.

When Polyanitsina was detained with a downpayment of 5 million rubles, she said the money was intended for her boss, Golubkov. A source in the Interior Ministry told Vedomosti that Golubkov had already received $1.2 million by the time Polyanitsina was detained.

Golubkov has told journalists that he was kept without food or sleep since his detention. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in jail and fines up to 40 times the value of the bribe.

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