On March 27, the Basmanny District Court arrested the former Open Government Minister, Mikhail Abyzov, who was accused of organizing a criminal community to steal money from energy companies. Mr. Abyzov’s defense insisted that it was not at all clear from the investigator’s decision to bring him as a defendant where, when and under what circumstances an OPS was created, and the crime event itself was not proven. In this case, the damage is 4 billion rubles. refuted by the case materials. The only victim of it, Almazuvelirexport, indicated that he had lost only 10 million rubles from Mr. Abyzov’s deal.
According to the version of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR), the organized crime community was created by Mikhail Abyzov from “personal self-interest” no later than April 2011, that is, a little over a year before his appointment as minister. At that time, he was the beneficial owner of about 95% of the shares of Novosibirsk Siberian Energy Company (SIBEKO), which produces and sells heat and electricity to consumers in large industrial cities of Siberia, and serves Regional electricity networks (RES) Novosibirsk region, as well as the service organization of Sibenergostroy OJSC. The latter through CJSC Novosibirskenergoskomplektoborudovanie (NESKO), CJSC Engineering Center, CJSC Production Repair Company (PRP) and CJSC Energospetsmontazh (ESM) serviced electricity production and transmission facilities located in the region. In the case file, all four companies are called subsidiaries of Sibenergostroy.
These companies, the investigation believes, Mr. Abyzov managed, having achieved election to their boards of directors and appointment to management positions of employees of the Ru-Com LLC, which is controlled by him in Moscow. With his right hand in the OPS, the investigation calls Nikolai Stepanov, CEO of Ru-Com, who, according to the TFR, attracted to the criminal organization of the then SIBEKO Director General Alexander Pelipasov, CEO of the Distribution Zone Sergei Ilichev, Director for Economics and Finance of ESM Galina Freidenberg, member of the board of directors SIBEKO Maxim Rusakov and "other unidentified persons." OPS consisted of two separate groups that operated in Moscow and Novosibirsk. In the first, according to the investigation, the gentlemen Stepanov, Rusakov and "unidentified persons" were included. In the second - the gentlemen Pelipasov, Illichiv, Freidenberg and the same Rusakov. Each of the groups, according to the investigation, “for direct financial gain” solved certain tasks.
According to the investigation, the persons involved in the case began to act about a month before the appointment of Mr. Abyzov to the government. Then he, as follows from the case, in order to hide the fact of the “true leadership of commercial organizations,” concluded a trust management agreement for a 100% stake in the authorized capital of Ru-Com with Regional Reserve Company LLC, which he controls. Moreover, the investigation considers the contract "fictitious."
Then, “deliberately using his official powers as the Minister of the Russian Federation, thereby influencing his authority and his position on the members of the criminal community,” Mr. Abyzov, according to the investigation, instructed through an unauthorized person to organize an auction for the sale of shares of NESCO, “Engineering Center, PRP and ESM. Ms. Freidenberg, occupying the position of general director of Sibenergostroy since November 21, 2012, organized the valuation of the shares of these companies, which was determined at 156 million 100 thousand 775 rubles.
In the summer of the same year, Mr. Abyzov, through the members of the OPS, instructed "unidentified persons" to create an offshore in Cyprus. In June of the same year, Blacksiris Trading Limited was registered in Limassol, and a certain citizen of Ukraine, Kulik, "formally" was given the right to sign documents from her. Subsequently, Blacksiris acted as the founder of OJSC “Agency of Special Supply” (ASS), OJSC “Repair and Construction Enterprise” (PRS), OJSC “First Energy Service Company” (PESK) and OJSC “Remonenergomontazh and Service” (REMiS), which, according to the CRS , did not conduct any real financial and economic activities.
On December 28, 2012, Galina Freidenberg approved a regulation on holding an auction for the sale of 100% of the shares in NESKO, the Engineering Center, PDP and ESM, indicating the starting price of 156.1 million rubles. He was won by Blacksiris, who offered 186 million 26 thousand 718 rubles for the shares. On March 19, 2013, Mrs. Freidenberg concluded with Mrs. Kulik a corresponding contract for the sale of securities, which were executed on Blacksiris. And already on July 2 and 3, 2013 in Limassol, the Blacksiris management decided to merge NESKO, the Engineering Center, the PDP and ESM to four fictitious companies. On November 6, 2013 in Cyprus, with the participation of nominal directors of Blacksiris, the proposed OPS participants “formally”, as stated in the case, signed a memorandum of intention of SIBEC to acquire shares of АСС, PESK and PRiS, and REM - REM & S shares, the cost of which was “significantly overestimated”. On December 18, 2013, Mr. Pelipasov from SIBEKO concluded an agreement with Blacksiris on the purchase of securities for 2.5 billion rubles, and Mr. Ilyichev, who headed the RES, for 1.5 billion rubles. At the same time, it is noted in the materials of the investigation, from the shareholders of SIBEKO and RES some Rubtsov and Akopyan, as well as the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Foreign Economic Association“ Almazyuvelirexport ”” were “hidden fact of fictitious acquisition of overpriced shares”.
At the beginning of 2014, Blacksiris received a total of RUB 4 billion from SIBEKO and RES in their accounts at Hellenic bank public company LTD and EuroBank Cyprus Limited, which, according to the investigation, the participants of the criminal scheme "disposed of at their discretion."
As a result, according to the TFR, a “unlawful and gratuitous” withdrawal of funds from SIBEKO and RES, which affected their shareholders, was committed. Get comments from Messrs. Rubtsov and Akopyan, who do not appear in any reporting SIBEC and RES, publicly available, “Kommersant” failed. In "Almazyuvelirexport" reported that FSUE in 1997 placed free funds on the exchange market. They acquired shares of a number of energy companies, including about 0.06% of Novosibirskenergo at a market price of $ 256,000. “The company acted as a portfolio investor,” they noted at FSUE, adding that due to the reorganization of energy companies shares "have been transformed several times." At the same time, the question of whether Almazuvelirexport was the injured party in the criminal case of Mikhail Abyzov was not answered at FSUE. In the court, where petitions of the investigation about the arrests of the ex-minister and his alleged accomplices were considered, a certain Mr. Chernyshov, who turned out to be an employee of “Almazyuvelirexport”, was called as a representative.
As Ayrat Hikmatullin, Mrs. Freidenberg’s lawyer, who, at the request of the FSB officers, bought a plane ticket and flew to Moscow “to meet with the general”, where she was detained, noted the damage amount of 4 billion rubles by the investigators themselves. .
According to him, Almazuvelirexport was recognized as a victim, whose representative indicated in the application a damage of 10 million rubles. FSUE in SIBEKO, which was liquidated a few years ago, owned only 0.89% (95% was owned by Mr. Abyzov). At the same time, in the examination carried out as part of the pre-investigation check, it is said that the rest of minority shareholders could suffer damage in the amount of not more than 200 million rubles, however, they did not recognize themselves as victims.
Meanwhile, referring to the gravity of the accusation against Mr. Abyzov, the testimony of the victim and the witnesses, as well as the results of wiretaps of the telephone conversations of the accused, the investigator for special cases of the TFR Sergey Stepanov demanded in the Basmanny District Court to arrest the ex-minister until May 25. The Major General of Justice argued that if Mr. Abyzov was left free, he would hide from the investigation and the court abroad. In Italy and Great Britain, the investigator under the TFR Chairman Alexander Bastrykin noted, Mr. Abyzov has real estate, his former spouse with children lives in the United States, and he planned to fly to Belgrade in the near future. In addition, the investigation believes, Mr. Abyzov can put pressure on the investigation participants, the defendants in the case and the witnesses on it, using his connections in the state authorities. At the same time, the investigator did not say that the accused had acquired them while working in the government, noting that Mr. Abyzov had acquired the necessary acquaintances, being an avid hunter. In advance, the major general prepared himself for the fact that the defense would demand the release of the accused, referring to the fact that the alleged crime relates to entrepreneurial activity. "The purpose of the crime was personal enrichment, and not profit in the exercise of legitimate activities," - said General Stepanov, stipulating that Art. 210 of the Criminal Code does not apply to those for which, in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure, businessmen cannot be detained. The representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office did not object to the arrest.
“Your honor,” said Mikhail Abyzov, who was in jail, addressing Judge Natalia Dudar. “Because of the vagueness of the wording, I cannot discuss the investigator’s decision on my involvement as an accused in detail.”
“We are discussing not the resolution of the investigator, but a petition for your arrest,” the judge reminded Mr. Abyzov.
“I do not agree with the accusation, I do not admit guilty of embezzlement,” Mr. Abyzov said nonetheless. “I did not use the post of minister for criminal purposes.
Asking to choose any measure of restraint not related to arrest, the ex-minister promised not to hide and expressed readiness to cooperate with the investigation.
His lawyer, Sergey Drozd, noted that the crime event itself is missing from the materials available to the defense. It is not clear exactly when, where and under what circumstances an OPS was created. The lawyer drew attention to the testimony of the victim Chernyshov and the witnesses and noted that it is impossible to understand from the documents exactly how the damage was caused to them - as individuals or representatives of the organization. Moreover, he believes, even if something was abducted by businessmen, it was done in the course of business activities, and therefore the defendants should not be in the SIZO. The lawyer offered to elect Mikhail Abyzov to house arrest or to release him on bail of 1 billion rubles.
Another lawyer, Ruslan Kozhura, noted that his principal was awarded the Order of Friendship and the Stolypin government medal, I degree, asking to attach the relevant documents to the case in question. And when Judge Dudar granted his request, he said:
- Summer is coming soon, and it would be good if Mikhail Abyzov would hold him under arrest at his dacha in Barvikha, and not in the SIZO.
Upon hearing this, the accused himself only laughed.
Finally, it came to guarantors. "This is the former head of the presidential administration, Alexander Voloshin," lawyer Alexander Asnis began announcing the list, noting that the guarantor, who has known Mr. Abyzov for 20 years, calls him a decent person and a good manager. The head of the Skolkovo Foundation, Arkady Dvorkovich, considered the accused a statesman at all. Among the sponsors were also the former press secretary of the head of government, Vnesheconombank Deputy Chairman Natalya Timakova, actress Chulpan Khamatova, chairman of the management board of Rosnano, Anatoly Chubais, founder and president of the Hospice Assistance Fund Nyuta Federmesser and co-owner of a network of regional Russian airports "Novaport" Roman Trotsenko. The latter was ready to make a billion pledge for the release of Mr. Abyzov.
The accused himself, meanwhile, drew a pen with hearts on the white sole of his shoes and showed them to his wife, who was sitting near the cage. She smiled back.
“It would be regrettable if this case becomes another example of the inattentive attitude of the investigation and the prosecutor’s office to what the head of state has repeatedly said,” Mr. Anis said. “Not to allow disputes of economic entities to be resolved in favor of one of the parties through criminal cases!
At the end of the meeting, Mikhail Abyzov himself, thanking his relatives and guarantors for their support, said:
- Our goal and consequences are the same - to establish the truth, and I would like to contribute to this.
By decision of the Basmanny Court, he will be in the Lefortovo SIZO at least until May 25th. For the same period Nikolay Stepanov, Galina Freidenberg, Alexander Pelipasov and Maxim Rusakov were arrested. Another person involved, Sergey Ilyichev, is wanted.