A claim for a record amount in the history of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office of 32 billion 540 million 718 thousand rubles. satisfied on Tuesday the Gagarinsky District Court of Moscow to the ex-Minister of the "Open Government" Mikhail Abyzov and five Cypriot offshore companies, which were, according to supervision, under his control. The defense will appeal the judgment, noting that none of the numerous arguments in favor of the defendant has been heard. The court, the defendant's representatives note, also set a record, after just eight hours of proceedings, essentially confiscating the assets with which Mr. Abyzov came to work in the government.
Judge Elena Chernysh satisfied the claim filed by Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin against Mikhail Abyzov, as well as the companies Vantroso Trading Ltd, Lisento Investments Ltd, Besta Holdings Limited, Kullen Holdings Limited, Alinor Investments Limited, registered in 2007-2009 in Cyprus. At the end of the eight-hour meeting, she announced the operative part of the decision, which fully meets the requirements of supervision.
According to him, in 2011, Cypriot companies controlled by Mr. Abyzov became part of the shareholders of OJSC Siberian Energy Company (SIBEKO), which he owned.
In connection with the appointment in 2012 as an adviser to the President of Russia, and then the Minister of the Open Government, Mr. Abyzov, it was said in the lawsuit, had to stop entrepreneurial activity and transfer his assets to trust management, as well as report on the state of property and income.
However, the official, reporting on official income in the government and funds received from participation in CJSC Industrial Technologies and LLC Ru-kom, according to the supervision, concealed that he owned and operated SIBEKO OJSC, as well as offshore companies. According to the plaintiff, he carried out secret asset management "during his time in power," that is, until 2018.
While supervising the investigation of a criminal case against the ex-minister, who is accused, among other things, of organizing a criminal community, embezzlement and laundering, as well as illegal participation in entrepreneurial activity (Articles 210, 159, 174 and 289 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), the Prosecutor General's Office established that in April 2017, Mr. Abyzov decided to sell shares of SIBEKO, he himself found buyers, namely Khakasskaya Service and Repair Company JSC (KHSRK) and Kuzbassenergo JSC, whose functions of the sole executive body were performed by Siberian Generating Company LLC (SGK ).
From April 2017 to February 2018, Mr. Abyzov, using, as stated in the lawsuit, his status and the authority of the minister, took part in negotiations with representatives of SGK and PJSC Sovcombank, through which the transaction was then carried out.
On February 7, 2018, in Limassol, nominee directors of Cypriot companies, acting in the interests of the minister, entered into two sales and purchase agreements for SIBEKO shares with KSRC and Kuzbassenergo, according to which their accounts opened with Sovcombank received 32 billion 515 million rubles within two days. 710 thousand 920 rubles The Prosecutor General's Office considers these funds to be illegal income of Mr. Abyzov and the companies under his control. Then, at the direction of the official, offshore companies purchased € 268 million for part of the proceeds, which were placed in the accounts of Sovcombank. Subsequently, € 172.5 million were spent on the purchase of German bonds, and another € 88 million were transferred to offshore accounts in the Cyprus branch of Promsvyazbank and the Latvian Rigensis Bank AS. Note that these actions of Mr. Abyzov within the framework of the criminal case were recognized by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (TFR) as money laundering. Now the ex-minister and his alleged accomplices are getting acquainted with the case materials.
General from the Prosecutor General's Office Sergei Bochkarev, who previously achieved the confiscation of assets for 9 billion rubles. from the ex-employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Dmitry Zakharchenko and his relatives, the outcome of the proceedings in the Gagarinsky District Court, where he represented the plaintiff's side, was completely satisfied.
The lawyer Yuliy Tai, who represented the defendant, called “Kommersant” the decision unfounded and illegal.
According to the lawyer, Mr. Abyzov came to the government as a dollar millionaire, leaving it with significant financial losses, and now he is left without anything.
Maybe the next businessman who decides to become an official is better off immediately giving his assets to the state, and not in trust, as Mr. Abyzov said, Mr. Tai said.
The defense of the ex-minister who participated in the meeting via video link from the pre-trial detention center, knowing that due to the restrictions imposed in the courts in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, journalists would not be allowed to visit him, petitioned for a video broadcast of the hearings on the Internet, but she was denied. “The judge actually rejected all of our motions, including to challenge her,” said Mr. Tai.