‘He could afford these Bentleys only if he starved himself for six years’ Navalny says Leonid Slutsky, the lawmaker accused of sexually harassing journalists, has undeclared land, fancy cars, and hundreds of speeding tickets
In his latest investigative report, Alexey Navalny says Leonid Slutsky owns cars worth more than the Duma deputy earns in a year, has undeclared real estate in a wealthy neighborhood outside Moscow, and has violated traffic laws 825 times in the past six months.
Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation found that Slutsky declared a 13-million-ruble ($228,000) Bentley Continental Flying Spur in 2010, registered in his wife’s name. Slutsky’s annual salary, however, is just 2 million rubles ($35,000), and his wife earns a mere 84,000 rubles ($1,500). According to the happy couple’s 2016 assets declaration, they also acquired a brand new Bentley Bentayga, which sells for a minimum of 15 million rubles ($263,000). “In order to afford this, Slutsky with his income would have needed to eat nothing, drink nothing, and spend not a kopeck since 2012,” Navalny writes, arguing that the deputy’s expensive cars suggest he’s earning money illegally, Navalny says.
There’s even a third car reported in Slutsky’s assets declaration: a Mercedes-Maybach luxury sedan that has been flagged for 825 different traffic violations since June 2017, piling up 1.4 million rubles ($24,500) in tickets (mostly for speeding).
Navalny’s researchers say Slutsky also owns an undeclared hectare (2.5 acres) of land in the Rublyovka (a prestigious suburb outside Moscow), neighboring real estate that he has declared. Navalny’s researchers say Slutsky has rented the allegedly undeclared land until 2055. The Anti-Corruption Foundation is asking the State Duma to investigate this information, which Navalny says is grounds for booting Slutsky out of the parliament.
Multiple Russian journalists have accused Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the State Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee, of sexual harassment. In late February, three women came forward anonymously to Dozhd, and they were later joined by RTVI deputy chief editor Ekaterina Katrikadze and Dozhd producer Darya Zhuk. BBC reporter Farida Rustamova (one of the women who originally spoke to Dozhd anonymously) then accused Slutsky openly, revealing that she has an audio recording of him harassing her in March 2017.
Slutsky, who denies any wrongdoing, says the sexual harassment allegations have actually improved his “standing” in the Russian legislature. Most of his colleagues in the Duma have supported him against the journalists who say he groped them. OnInternational Women's Day, Slutsky took the holiday as an opportunity to “apologize” on Facebook, writing, “I’d like to ask the forgiveness of any of you I’ve ever voluntarily or involuntarily caused distress. Believe me, it wasn’t out of malice.”