This week, the Associated Press reported that a three-judge panel in Spain ruled in favor of Russian politician Vladislav Reznik’s appeal to revoke an arrest warrant for him.
The report says that “Reznik is one of 15 suspects in a years-long investigation into alleged Russian mafia activities in Spain.”
But he is also a holder of a high office, as a member of the lower house of parliament for the Kremlin party and deputy chairman of its financial market committee.
The warrant was for questioning in an investigation involving money-laundering and possible association with criminals.
The panel of judges added in their ruling that, because he holds high office, his whereabouts are known, presuming that he can be reached at any time.
The politician has legal representation in Spain and apparently provided evidence against his involvement through video link.
In March of 2016, Spanish Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Reznik and his wife, for their alleged associations with a group, which was a follow-up from the arrest of Russian mafia members in Spain in 2008.
Originally, the Spanish news source El Mundo reported in March on the arrest warrant from a judge who specializes in gang activity, saying at the time why they felt Reznik should be arrested.
“According to the letter of detention drafted by the magistrate of the Audencial Nacional, Reznik ‘performs all of the necessary activities, legal or illegal (insider trading, privileged information, etc.), to the highest levels in Russia in favor of the interests of Petrov and any organization subordinate, to him. “The relationship between Petrov and Reznik is also economic in nature, both in Spain and Russia,” says the judge.”
In March, the Russian news service Vedomosti reported the details of the charges Reznik could face, but it also mentions that he has parliamentary immunity.Therefore it is unlikely that he will face any charges at all.
Russian politicians have constantly made headlines over the years for accusations of corruption, which parallel the headlines on the denials that come from the Kremlin.
With the Median uprising in the Ukraine in 2013-2014, a good deal of documents and evidence were revealed on corruption throughout the government, due to their association with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s administration, as then-president Yanukovich was said to have been deliberately placed there by Russia in 2010.
Other politicians and oligarchs have also been targeted in the press and by organizations, who have reported on corruption in the Russian government; many who have been known to publicly oppose Putin have been assassinated or poisoned.
For instance, last year, Boris Nemtsov was gunned down in broad daylight during a protest, and former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with a radioactive substance in 2006. Litvinenko made news again when Sir Robert Owen, who is the public inquiry chairman in the United Kingdom, released a report from a years-long investigation saying that Putin likely had Litvinenko killed, according to the BBC.
Even in the recent international, frustrations with the Ukraine, which forced a turnover in their parliament, many were accused of corruption and exposure through the Panama Papers.
The AP says that Reznik had a link to the head of the Russian Tambov gang leading to the politician’s luxury villa on the Spanish island of Majorca.
The Guardian reported on the arrest of Russian mafia suspects in 2008, an arrest apparently organized with the involvement of German, U.S. and Spanish police forces included 300 officers for a raid in the village of Calvia in Majorca.
The then-Spanish interior minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said that it was “the largest crackdown on organized crime in Europe.”
The gang’s full name is Tambovskaya-Malyshevkaya, and it is supposedly the most brutal in Russia and had “set up a web of front companies in Spain to launder millions in illegal property deals gained from criminal activities in Russia and former Soviet states.”
According to Expatica, another “Russian official targeted with the arrest warrant is Igor Sobolevsky,” who is the former deputy director of the Investigative Committee of Russia – often described as the equivalent of the FBI and Nikolai Aulov, who is the deputy head of Russia’s Federal Anti-narcotics service.
The head of the Tambov gang Gennadios Petrov, had been arrested during that raid but, according to an unverified source, was eventually released only to vanish and is now apparently on the run.
The gang originated out of St. Petersburg, where Putin was the Head of the Committee for External Relations for the city mayor before he became the First Deputy Chairman of the local Russian government in the 90’s.