FSB officers arrest Tomsk mayor for suspected abuse of office
Tomsk Mayor and United Russia party member Ivan Klyayn was arrested by officers from the Federal Security Service (FSB) while in the midst of a conference call on the morning of Friday, November 13.
Klyayn’s arrest was first reported by the local news agency TV2 — several sources, including ones in law enforcement, confirmed that the mayor was taken from city hall in handcuffs.
The Investigative Committee later reported that Klyayn was under investigation on suspicion of abuse of office. Allegedly, he asked his subordinate — the head of the Urban Planning Department — to register the site of his company “Tomskoe Pivo” (Tomsk Beer) as a sanitary protection zone to prevent another businessman from building houses nearby.
According to article 286, section two of the Russian Criminal Code, abuse of official authority is punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The TV2 news coverage of Klyayn’s arrest included a screenshot of a live broadcast of the conference call, in which two masked FSB officers can be seen standing behind the mayor. Reports of his arrest also appeared on local Telegram channels. The Investigative Committee shared a video of the Klyayn’s arrest on YouTube following its official statement (in the video, Klyayn can be seen handcuffed to one of the FSB officers).
Klyayn was elected mayor of Tomsk in 2013. Previously, he headed the company Tomskoe Pivo and was a lawmaker on the Tomsk regional council.
Two of Klyayn’s predecessors as mayor — Alexander Makarov and Nikolai Nikolaychuk — were also faced criminal prosecution.
In 2010, Makarov was sentenced to 12 years in a maximum security prison for abuse of office, extortion, and bribe taking. The ex-mayor described his case as “political.” He was released in June 2016.
In 2015, court convicted Nikolai Nikolaychuk of negligence and sentenced him to four years probation.