From the case of Mikhail Maksimenko roll out Wrangler

British justice questioned the Russian bribe in the form of a jeep.
s it became known to “Kommersant”, in a high-profile criminal case of corruption in the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR), accused of which the former head of the main department of the committee, Mikhail Maksimenko, two generals and another colonel, are accused, a scandal occurred. The defense found that incriminated Colonel Maksimenko as one of the bribes of a Wrangler jeep worth 2.6 million rubles. in fact, became “illiquid” after the extremely unfortunate tuning, produced in Russia. Its owner, a businessman and alleged bribe-giver Dmitry Smichkovsky, tried to get rid of the car, reducing the price until the jeep became a evidence in the case.

Lawyer Irina Limanskaya, representing Mr. Smychkovsky, filed a petition with the deputy head of the FSB investigation department, Mikhail Savitsky, demanding that the defendant in the episode about giving a bribe (Part 5 of Art. 291 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) be stopped in the form of a Wrangler colonel SKR Mikhail Maximenko. According to the lawyer, the investigation did not indicate exactly what actions the illegal remuneration was transferred to the officer, getting abstract statements that Mr. Smychkovsky was looking for connections in the TFR in order to gain access to the materials of criminal cases and affect the promotion of his acquaintances. Thus, as Irina Limanskaya believes, there is no main sign of a corruption offense in the case.

The lawyer believes that Messrs. Smychkovsky and Maksimenko planned a regular civil-law car sale transaction, which also did not take place. Mrs. Limanskaya supported her findings with the testimony of not only Dmitry Smichkovsky, but also a dozen witnesses she interviewed. Their position, according to counsel, the subordinates of General Savitsky ignored, which indicates the "subjective, biased and repressive nature" of the investigation.

From the materials of the interviews of the witnesses given by the lawyer to the FSB, it follows that the 2013 Wrangler of release, Mr. Smychkovsky, bought a new one by replenishing his fleet of two dozen cars with an SUV. Again, according to the tradition started by the businessman, the jeep did not immediately hit his garage, located on the territory of Mr. Smychkovsky’s residence in the cottage settlement “Meiendorf Gardens” of the Odintsovo District near Moscow, but in the car tuning studio. From the SUV, the owner decided to make an all-terrain vehicle for driving on rough terrain. To do this, the jeep had to completely sort out the suspension, putting, for example, heavy-duty levers with bearings instead of silent blocks and especially tough shock absorbers. The jeep also received reinforced steel bumpers, and the highlight of the tuning was the powerful wheels Cooper Discoverer 35x12.5 R20 with a tire width of 35 cm.

However, the tuning, which was carried out for almost two years, in the end did not please the customer. A ride a couple of times on the updated Wrangler, the owner found out that the jeep is not able to follow the usual route - its speed did not exceed 70 km / h, and on a wet asphalt all-terrain vehicle mercilessly chatted. Disappointed in the purchase, Mr. Smychkovsky ordered his driver, who was following the vehicle fleet, to put the jeep on sale. In the summer of 2015, Wrangler got into the Bentley auto show in Krasnodar, whose owner, an old friend of Mr. Smychkovsky, seemed to find buyers for him. However, customers, one of whom planned to ride an SUV at home, to a mountain village, and the other to participate in extreme races, the price is 3 million rubles. seemed overpriced. As a result, by the autumn of the same year, the jeep returned to the owner’s garage at Meiendorf Gardens. It was here that an avid hunter and fisherman drew attention to him, at that time Mikhail Maximenko, the head of the main department for interdepartmental cooperation and the TFR’s own security. He was friends with businessman Smichkovsky and often visited him in his residence near Moscow.

By this time, the price of the Wrangler had already fallen by half, but before making the purchase, Mr. Maksimenko asked his friend for permission to test drive an SUV - overtake him from Moscow to St. Petersburg and show it to another friend who owns Opel repair service. . Having received good, Mikhail Maksimenko sent the car to the Northern capital, but the jeep could not overcome even half of the wet course - the brake fluid boiled from constant braking and broke the brake hoses. The car service car was delivered to the tow truck. Then there was a long epic with the search for damaged hoses - an analogue of the part suitable for the ultra high ground clearance of the Wrangler had to be ordered and waited a whole month.

When the jeep was finally repaired, Mikhail Maksimenko decided to test drive the car off-road, going to one of the hunting grounds of the Novgorod region. Wrangler still somehow overcame the path from St. Petersburg to the Novgorod forests, but the hunter Maksimenko did not dare to drive it back along the icy road. In January 2016, he called the owner of the SUV and said that he refused to buy and is ready to deliver the car to any item convenient for its owner. But only on the tow truck.

The friends agreed that the jeep would continue to be sold - they were virtually agreed to be offered in their salons by the Krasnodar friend of Mr. Smichkovsky and the St. Petersburg friend of Mikhail Maximenko. In Moscow, the same driver of a businessman started selling an SUV, and meanwhile the Wrangler itself was decided not to touch it again. Announcements of the sale of an “exclusive hunting, fishing and extreme travel” vehicle were posted in newspapers and online resources in three cities until the summer of 2016, when the FSB opened a criminal case about corruption in the TFR and engaged in investigating an episode of “automobile” bribes Michael Maximenko. At the same time, the FSB itself was evacuated from the Novgorodian forests and placed in a guarded parking lot in Moscow as a material evidence.

A year later, Dmitri Smychkovsky himself became the person involved in the two corruption cases, who had by this time moved from the Moscow region to the UK. He was convicted in absentia of giving two particularly large bribes to Mikhail Maksimenko, was put on international wanted list and arrested in absentia by the Lefortovo court.

Recall that, according to the FSB, in addition to the jeep, Mr. Smychkovsky also transferred $ 1 million to Mikhail Maksimenko for releasing criminal authority Andrei Kochuykov, who was in a detention center for extortion, from prison. The money, according to the investigation, was shared in equal shares by Mikhail Maksimenko, head of the Moscow State Committee of the TFR Alexander Drymanov, his deputy Denis Nikandrov, head of the department of the Central Administrative District Committee Alexei Kramarenko and the alleged bribe-giver Smichkovsky. All of them, with the exception of a businessman, are now in custody. Colonel Maksimenko and General Nikandrov were sentenced to 13 and 5 years respectively. At the same time, Mr. Maksimenko faces another corruption case.
According to data from a source close to the investigation “Kommersant”, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation has already applied for the extradition of accused Smychkovsky to the UK, but the Westminster London Magistrate’s Court rejected the request, citing a lack of submitted documents confirming his involvement in corruption. According to the participants in the process, the English judge for a long time considered a photograph of a tuned Wrangler in the extradition request and eventually doubted that the “farm vehicle” could be the subject of a bribe. “We carry rabbits in these, not people,” said a representative of the magistrates court.

Lawyer Elena Fedulova, representing the person involved in the criminal case on corruption, Alexei Kramarenko, told Kommersant that the defense considers the second bribe incident incriminated to Mr. Smichkovsky and former senior officials of the TFR unreasonable and illegal. “Even at the pre-trial stage, we are planning, within our authority, to interview other witnesses in the case, provide the investigation with convincing evidence that clients are not involved in corruption and thus achieve the termination of their criminal prosecution.”