The Moscow District Court of St. Petersburg interrogated the prosecution witnesses and the injured head of the investigative department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (SKR) for the Kaliningrad region Viktor Ledenev in the criminal case of the former deputy plenipotentiary of the president in the North-West Federal District Alexander Datsyshyn and ex-deputy of the Kaliningrad Oblast Duma journalist Igor Rudnikov. They are accused of extorting $ 50,000 from General Ledenev for discontinuing his compromising publications in the media. But the victim stated in court that he had not received any threats from the accused. At the same time, during the process, resonant details about the role of the ex-head of the Central Internal Affairs Directorate of the region, Evgeny Martynov, were announced.
The interrogation of General Viktor Ledenev was held at his request in a closed meeting for four days, but participants in the process were allowed to keep an audio recording with which they had read “Kommersant”. After the completion of the interrogation of the victim, the process according to the decision of Judge Valeria Kovaleva continued openly. Key in the testimony of General Ledenev were his repeated statements that no threats from one of the accused had been received against him. This directly contradicts the version of the accusation that businessman Alexander Datsyshin (former deputy chairman of the president) and publisher of the newspaper “New Wheels” Igor Rudnikov (ex-deputy of the Kaliningrad Regional Duma) extorted $ 50,000 from the head of the regional office of the TFR in the newspaper of Mr. Rudnikov “Defamatory information” (see “Kommersant” on February 18). Since art. 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Extortion” explicitly provides for “the requirement to transfer someone else's property under threat,” statements by the victim in court mean that there was no extortion, the defense believes.
Contradictions were found in the versions of General Ledenev as to who initiated the "peaceful settlement" of the problem of his publications. We recall, they related to a luxurious mansion on the seaside resort near Kaliningrad, where General Ledenyov lived, and critics of the investigation of the attempt on Mr. Rudnikov, conducted under his leadership, in 2016. To solve the problem of compromising, after the leadership of the TFR in Moscow paid attention to it, General Ledenyov tried on the recommendation of the ex-head of the Central Internal Affairs Directorate for the Kaliningrad Region Yevgeny Martynov. During the investigation, the victim stated that General Martynov offered to consult with influential Mr. Datsyshin and introduced him to Mr. Ledenev at his request, and in court that the initiator of the acquaintance was General Martynov. When the defense drew attention to the contradictions, the victim stated that he was not listened to by the FSB and the Civil Service Department of the TFR, but “they wrote in the protocol what they wanted” and all that was recorded was their “inventions”. At the same time, the high-ranking investigator himself, according to him, signed the protocols without reading. “According to the victim, the FSB officers developed the script, the texts of the dialogues and turned it into a puppet,” said the lawyer of the former deputy chairman Sergei Baranov.
Mr. Martynov stated in court that he had helped Mr. Ledenev "humanly, in a general way", having learned during a meeting at a restaurant in Moscow and on a yacht in Kaliningrad that "The New Wheels" was a nightmare for the TFR. According to the prosecution, Alexander Datsyshin met, at the request of General Ledenev, with Igor Rudnikov, after which he told the victim that the issue of publications could be resolved for $ 50,000. After that, the general wrote a statement to the UFSB and became involved in search activities. with General Martynov using obscene language. From the transcript, announced by the court, it follows that the ex-head of the Kaliningrad Department of Internal Affairs proposed that the head of the administrative department of the TFR agree to pay for “stopping the scribbling” to a journalist, but take the “delay” and “receive 50 dollars from Kostya” or euro. The conversation also touched upon General Martynov’s counter-request to assist in a criminal case that is being investigated by General Ledenev’s office. In court in the case of Datsyshyn and Rudnikov, Yevgeny Martynov explained the offer to receive money "from Kostya" with the desire to "reassure General Ledenev." Based on the materials of the case, the conversation concerned the criminal case on tax evasion with respect to the commercial structure of Alexander Suslov - brother of the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Kaliningrad region Konstantin Suslov. At the same time, Mr. Martynov confirmed to the court that he himself was also a defendant in one of the criminal cases under investigation in the region, headed by Mr. Ledenev, under criminal charges under Part 1 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code "Abuse of office."
The most striking were the testimony of a Moscow businessman Sergey Zelenin (deputy general director of Domis-L LLC) regarding his belonging to a private residence in the resort town of Svetlogorsk near Kaliningrad, where he lived to “look after the house” Mr. Ledenyov. As it turned out, in 2013, when General Ledenyov was transferred to the service in Kaliningrad, his friend Mr. Zelenin decided to realize his dream of moving after retirement to Kaliningrad. Mr. Ledenev, at his request, picked up the plot for the businessman and the builders and, as a friend, assumed full control over the design, construction and equipment of the house. The entrepreneur gave the friend cash funds for this, amounting to tens of millions of rubles, but he could not specify how many floors in the house belonged to him. When asked whether he had a document of ownership, the landlord refused to answer, citing Art. 51 of the Constitution. Another episode which caused the attention of the press concerned a Canon camera presented to Mr. Ledenev, Mr. Datsyshin, which, according to different versions, cost from 10 thousand to 25 thousand rubles. The presentation of the gift took place during the visit of the head of the office of the TFR on his birthday to the office of Mr. Datsyshyn. General Ledenev did not deny in court the fact of receiving the gift, but insisted that he ordered the driver to throw it away.
Interrogations in court "demonstrated the obvious absurdity of the accusations against Alexander Datsyshyn and strengthened us in the conviction of the innocence of our client," lawyer of former deputy envoy Sergei Baranov told Kommersant. “Obviously, they simply tried to close the mouth to the journalist and the newspaper, and Alexander Datsyshin, who responded to the request of Ledenev and quite legitimately tried to figure out how to help him, was sacrificed to the needs of the general,” says lawyer Igor Rudnikova, Anna Panicheva. Interrogations of witnesses, including the victim himself, “discovered the weakness of the prosecution’s position and showed that the criminal case against Rudnikov could well turn into a criminal case against General Ledenev,” said the lawyer of the journalist Tumas Misakyan.