The process of the scandalous case of multi-billion embezzlement at the Bank of Moscow started on Friday in the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow. According to the prosecution, the former leaders of the credit institution, Andrey Borodin and Dmitry Akulinin, with the help of three of their accomplices, organized the theft of more than 14.5 billion rubles. However, they are not in the dock, since all the accused managed to escape abroad, and they will be tried in absentia. The defendants in the case, though they denied their guilt, decided not to participate in the meetings even through their representatives, and lawyers appointed by the court would defend their interests.
The materials of the high-profile criminal case were submitted to the Meshchansky court in late April, and preliminary hearings, which determined the course of the upcoming process, took place a month ago. However, the consideration of the case began only a month later, since problems arose with those who would defend the defendants. All five defendants at one time managed to escape from the investigation and go abroad. Apparently, the accused are not interested in the course of the process, and therefore they have not entered into contracts with lawyers. As a result, the court provided defenders for the absentee defendants. However, some of them did not attend the hearings, and the meetings were postponed several times so as not to violate the rights of the escaped ex-bankers and their alleged accomplices. Only on Friday, Judge Elena Karakeshisheva was able to begin consideration of the case on the merits. The first meeting actually boiled down to the indictment by the representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office, from which it follows that as early as 2008–2011, five defendants committed three episodes of embezzlement of the Bank of Moscow funds in an organized criminal group for a total of about 14.5 billion rubles. After that, the presiding judge announced a break until July 5, when, as expected, within the framework of the judicial investigation, the examination of the written evidence collected by the investigators will begin. We will remind that earlier the United Kingdom, where the main persons involved in the criminal case disappeared and received the status of political refugees, refused to satisfy the request of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to extradite them to their homeland. And the defenders appointed by the court honestly admitted that they had not only not seen each other, but had not even been in contact with their clients.