Tue, 02 Jun 2020

Poland extradited the co-owner of a Siberian shopping mall to Russia to face bribery charges on the eve of the second anniversary of a fire at the mall that killed 60 people.

On March 24, Vyacheslav Vishnevsky, who is an executive of a company that co-owns the Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) mall in Kemerovo, was sent to a pretrial detention facility in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, local news agencies reported.

He must spend 14 days in quarantine because of concern over the spread of the coronavirus.

Vishnevsky is suspected of paying 7 million rubles ($88,800) during construction of the mall to receive permission for it to open, according to the press service of Russia's Prosecutor-General's Office. The transaction was disguised as a payment for services provided, the press service said.

Vishnevsky fled to Poland amid a preliminary investigation into the March 25, 2018, fire that engulfed the shopping mall. More than half of the 60 people killed were children trapped inside a move theater.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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