Mikhail Abyzov sewed a new business

How the charges under Article 289 will affect the fate of the former minister.
A new criminal case has been launched against Mikhail Abyzov - the former Minister for Open Government Affairs is suspected of illegal participation in entrepreneurial activity. For this, he could face up to two years in prison. Meanwhile, the ex-official is already accused of fraud of 4 billion rubles. and criminal community organizations. Under these articles, the maximum sentence is up to 20 years in prison.

At the same time, the new case has nothing to do with the old one, ex-minister’s lawyer Alexander Asnis explained to Kommersant: “According to the investigation, in 2018 Abyzov personally and through proxies carried out certain entrepreneurial activities, thereby violating the ban imposed on him as a member of the government of the Russian Federation. Such a crime is classified by the Criminal Code as crimes of minor gravity, the maximum penalty for which, along with other types of punishments, is up to two years in prison. This corpus delicti does not provide for the consequences of causing any property damage to the state or other owner and, consequently, subsequent compensation for any damage, and also does not entail the recognition of any transactions invalid.

The described circumstances have nothing to do with the events of 2011-2014, which are the subject of an investigation into the criminal case of fraud and the creation of a criminal community, on which Abyzov was charged five months ago.

According to the accused and his defenders, the initiation of this criminal case testifies only to the fact that during the investigation of the main case the investigation failed to collect sufficient evidence to confirm the charges. A new case was instituted at the very moment when the courts began to massively refuse the investigation to seize the property. “Abyzov has not been charged with the new criminal case, he intends, of course, to refute unfounded suspicions.”

The initiation of yet another case, which is in no way connected with what is already being investigated, is a common practice, notes Konstantin Trapaidze, chairman of the bar of lawyers at Your Legal Attorney: “One case does not follow from another, and was, let’s say, discovered along the way. This happens, as a rule, if the operatives are quite actively involved in the development, communicate with some people who worked or could work with the suspect. I can assume that with the highest probability one of these "interlocutors" gave evidence according to which he was engaged in entrepreneurial activity in the interests of Abyzov. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to prove, because the former official, of course, did not register any commercial structures, did not enter into their governing bodies. And if he did, then this, of course, was a big mistake on his part. Here, they can, indeed, recover the whole picture from the documents. Everything else can be based only on the confession of the suspect himself, which is unlikely to follow.

However, if Mikhail Abyzov has two sentences, then this will complicate his further fate.
Firstly, it increases the length of detention, albeit slightly. Secondly, parole is also difficult, because the number of episodes also complicates the collection and preparation for parole, to reduce the length of time spent in custody. "

In the framework of the criminal case, Mikhail Abyzov's assets were arrested for almost 30 billion rubles. - This is real estate, stocks and accounts. The defense insisted that it was illegal, since the amount was several times greater than the amount of claims against the former minister. Recently, part of the property has been unfrozen. In addition to Mikhail Abyzov, there are five more suspects in the fraud case. The investigation believes that they stole 4 billion rubles. from energy suppliers in the Novosibirsk region and brought them abroad.

According to investigators, Mikhail Abyzov created a criminal community no later than April 2011, that is, when there was a little more than a year left before his appointment as minister. At that time, the accused controlled a 95% stake in Siberian Energy Company (SIBEKO) and Regional Electric Networks OJSC (RES), which supplied energy to large industrial cities of Siberia. These organizations included several service companies - a former official appointed their people as their leaders. About a month before Abyzov took over as curator of the Open Government, he allegedly hid that he owns this business and concluded a fictitious trust management agreement.

Then, presumably already using his ministerial powers, Abyzov organized the sale of service companies from SIBECO and RES to the Cyprus offshore - then they were estimated at 150 million rubles. While the companies were in Cyprus, the structures were reorganized, and already in 2013 they were sold back to SIBECO and RES, but for 4 billion rubles. However, the remaining shareholders were not aware of the details of the transaction.

According to the pre-investigation examination, the total damage to the shareholders of SIBECO and RES is estimated at 200 million rubles. The rest of the damage of the 4 billion rubles in question was attributed to Mikhail Abyzov himself, since he was the main shareholder of the affected companies.

Clearly, only Almazyuvelirexport state enterprise designated the claims. The company had less than 1% in SIBECO, and it lost 10 million rubles on Abyzov’s machinations.

Now Mikhail Abyzov is in jail. He will remain under arrest at least until the end of October.

Abyzov became Minister in May 2012, he was responsible for the “Open Government” - this project was to make the work of the authorities more transparent for citizens. Six years later, the “Open Government” was closed, and the “minister without a portfolio,” as they called Mikhail Abyzov, resigned. A little less than a year later he was detained.