In the case of the organization of a criminal community, in which the ex-minister of the Open Government, Mikhail Abyzov and his business partner Nikolay Stepanov, are accused, assets worth billions of rubles were arrested. According to the defense, property, the value of which substantially exceeds both possible damage in the case and penalties, fell under interim measures.
The head of the investigative group of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) Major-General of Justice Sergei Stepanov addressed the Preobrazhensky District Court with a petition for imposing arrest on 1,667 shares of Industrial Technologies owned by Mr. Abyzov. He clarified that an interim measure is necessary to pay compensation to victims and a fine in the event of a court conviction. The nominal value of each share is only 100 rubles, however, as one of the participants of the meeting explained to “Kommersant”, nobody estimated their market value.
Earlier, with requests to arrest the property of Mikhail Abyzov - more than 420 million rubles. on bank accounts, two mansions with land plots in the Moscow region, several apartments, parking places, etc. — TFR applied to the Basmanny District Court. Moreover, all meetings were held without the participation of both Mr. Abyzov and his defenders, who were not notified of the upcoming meetings. “On Wednesday, hearings were held in the Preobrazhensky court, at the location of the share registrar,” lawyer of the former minister Sergei Drozd explained to Kommersant. According to him, Mr. Abyzov was notified about the date of the meeting through the staff of the SIZO. “In this case, participation in the process is ensured if there is no written refusal, and Mikhail Anatolyevich wanted to be present in person,” said the defender. He noted that both the accused himself and his representatives insisted on the groundlessness of the request of General Stepanov. By the way, the question arose whether they had drafted and signed the petition, since the applicant indicated in the document the lieutenant colonel. However, representatives of the prosecutor's office and the judge Dmitry Yani considered this a technical error that does not affect the review process.
Meanwhile, Mikhail Abyzov and his lawyers said that the arrest could be imposed only on the property obtained by criminal means, while the shares were bought in 2010, and, according to the TFR, the crimes of the ex-minister were committed since 2011.
In addition, the accused himself recalled that the value of the property already arrested from him exceeds the amount of the fine, which may be assigned to him. “In this criminal case, the maximum fine amounts to 1 billion, which is much less than the price of the arrested property and bills,” Mr. Drozd explained. The lawyer emphasized that he and his colleagues still understand what fell under the provisional measures, as it happened without their participation. “We will appeal both this decision and the previous ones,” the defender promised after the judge granted the request of the TFR. He also recalled that on the eve of the appeal of the Moscow City Court rejected the complaint of lawyers, recognizing the legal extension of the arrest of Mr. Abyzov. At that meeting, the ex-minister said that the investigation did not give him the opportunity to talk with his mother on the phone on the day she turned 86 years old.
All requests for telephone conversations or meetings are denied, although this does not fit into any norms of the law or morality, ”Sergei Drozda told Kommersant.
One of his colleagues said that, justifying the need to extend the term of detention in the SIZO, investigators of the TFR referred to the transfer of a large amount from the account of Mikhail Abyzov to the accounts of his son and wife after the arrest of the ex-minister. “It is not clear what is the crime here, if these accounts were not blocked, and the family needs money for current expenses,” the defenders wonder. At the same time, Mr. Abyzov himself continues to insist on his innocence, arguing that disagreements with the victims in his case had to be resolved in an arbitration court, and not in a criminal case.
It should be noted that on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Moscow City Court also considered the complaints of the other defendants in the theft case in 2011–2014 from the Siberian energy company and the Regional Electric Grids company 4 billion rubles. In particular, the arrest of a major entrepreneur and namesake of the head of the TFR investigation team Nikolay Stepanov was recognized as legal. As Vladimir Starinsky’s lawyer told Kommersant, his client also arrested many accounts and property, including a business center in Novosibirsk, “for hundreds of millions of rubles”, which was also appealed by the defense. “The damage in the case is insignificant (according to lawyers, not more than 1.3 million rubles. -“ Kommersant ”), and the TFR through the court seizes all that is possible,” the defender says. He pointed out that recently the court removed the burden at least from an apartment in Moscow, which Mr. Stepanov’s wife sold back in 2012.
According to the lawyer, on June 22, Nikolay Stepanov was 45 years old, however, while in the SIZO, he cannot change his passport. Meanwhile, with an inactive document, the majority of structures under its control, including companies engaged in shared construction, banks and tax authorities can block all accounts, paralyzing their activities.