Judgment Day for Andrey Borodin and Dmitry Akulinin will be held in absentia

The fugitive managers of the Bank of Moscow were not taken to a Russian court from the UK.
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.
Recall that the investigation into embezzlements at the Bank of Moscow by the investigators of the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation began at the end of 2010, and soon the main defendants were former president of a credit institution Andrei Borodin and first vice president Dmitry Akulinin. However, they managed to go abroad and in the summer of 2011 they were taken to the Interpol search base, where their cards were marked with a so-called red corner, which means immediate detention if detected. At the same time, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the funds already stolen and brought abroad are former bankers used to buy luxury real estate.

Meanwhile, in Russia, only a few people from the criminal group managed by Messrs. Borodin and Akulinin were detained, according to the same article. 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (misappropriation or embezzlement) were convicted by the senior trader of the Directorate of foreign exchange operations of the Bank of Moscow Konstantin Salnikov and the former head of the banking operations support department Alla Averina. At the same time, Svetlana Timonina, the former head of the Premier Estate Company, who was involved in the case, through whose structure money was stolen, received a five-year term of imprisonment. At the same time, the Russian authorities succeeded in arresting the accounts of the hidden bankers and their real estate, including the ancient castle in England, for a total of more than $ 400 million.

Now, in the criminal case, the absentee accused in addition to the two main ex-managers of the Bank of Moscow are also the Bank’s then-Vice-President Alexey Sytnikov and the head of one of the directorates Dmitry Stroganov, as well as the president of Kuznetsky Most Development, Boris Shemyakin, co-founder of Premier Estate . The latter was originally arrested, but then released on bail of 10 million rubles. and also chose to flee to the UK.

It should be noted that all cases received by the courts are just isolated episodes from the main case of the huge sums missing from the Bank of Moscow, the investigation of which is still ongoing. At VTB, which owns BM Bank (former Bank of Moscow), refrained from commenting.