AUDIT CHAMBER IS DISSATISFIED WITH INSPECTION RESULTS IN CHECHNYA

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MOSCOW, March 28, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - In accordance with the recent inspection in Chechnya the Russian Audit Chamber have claims to officials in Grozny as well as in Moscow. This was disclosed by Russian Audit Chamber Chairman Sergei Stepashin on Sunday during the Orange Juice program on the NTV channel.

Mr. Stepashin noted that the situation concerns the embezzlement of 68 mln rubles (approximately 2 mln euros) and serious violations of the legislature in the course of competitions, held to distribute the rights to conduct state purchases for the needs of economical and social restoration in Chechnya. According to him, approximately 40 officials of the republican as well as of the federal levels are involved in the embezzlement.

Facts concerning the no-purpose use of the financial allocations were registered as well. "The allocated means on the construction of schools were spent on the financing of the Terek football club," Mr. Stepashin said. (The club, which played in the first division, was only formally representing the capital of Chechnya and mostly consisted of the hired athletes. Last year the Terek (named after the river in Chechnya) had all chances to qualify for the Prime League.) Mr. Stepashin also noted that none out of the 150 facilities under construction were put into operation. Only 2,000 out of 47,000 families were provided with housing. However, the current situation owes not to someone's "ill will" but to the lack of the proper control, Mr. Stepashin believes. "Mr. Popov resigned (due to his disagreements with President Kadyrov), the proper control doesn't exist, military actions continue," Mr. Stepashin said.

The Chairman of the Audit Chamber binds great expectations with the appointment of Sergei Abramov on the post of Prime Minister, who had previously headed the work of the Audit Chamber inspection in Chechnya and before that was the Republic's Finance Minister.

"We have sent Mr. Abramov there with the concept of social and economic development. It was Mr. Kadyrov, who asked us to work out the concept," Mr. Stepashin said.

Answering on the question, if the Russian Audit Chamber had any claims to President Kadyrov, Mr. Stepashin said that "there is no information on the involvement of Mr. Kadyrov in the embezzlement."

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