As Kommersant learned, tomorrow in the Basmanny court of the capital a preliminary hearing will be held on the criminal case of the former main owner of Rosgosstrakh PJSC (CSG) Sergey Khachaturov. He is accused of embezzlement in transferring the insurance company to Otkritie Bank control, as well as embezzlement of one of his own companies. Meanwhile, the 18-month deadline for holding Mr Khachaturov in custody is about to expire, and his defense will insist on changing the preventive measure, noting that recently in such situations the courts have repeatedly released entrepreneurs from pre-trial detention centers.
According to Kommersant’s information, recently the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation approved a bill of indictment against Sergey Khachaturov and former shareholder of RGS Bank Nadezhda Klepalskaya. It was transferred to the Basmanny court of the capital, Judge Natalya Dudar will hold a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
As Kommersant has told more than once, the Investigative Department of the FSB of the Russian Federation charged Mr. Khachaturov and Mrs. Klepalskaya (she is under house arrest) with charges of especially large fraud (Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), embezzlement (Article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and legalization of illegal income (Article 174.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The initiator of the case was the infamous FSB colonel Kirill Cherkalin. According to the materials of the case, the fraud and money laundering committed by entrepreneurs consisted in the fact that a few months before the transfer of control over the RGS PJSC to the Otkritie bank, they re-registered slightly more than 3.6% of the shares of PJSC RGS Assets owned by Mr. Khachaturov Rosgosstrakh "in the authorized capital of LLC Technika i Avtomatika, which also belongs to the businessman.
The shares were introduced in May 2017, and in August 2017, at the request of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, which consolidated Rosgosstrakh under its control, they were openly sold through the stock exchange to the Trust Bank (located in the redevelopment of Otkrytie). Having paid 1 billion rubles. taxes, Mr. Khachaturov invested the money received in interest-bearing bills of Alfa Bank, and then placed it on a Russian currency account. As for the episode of embezzlement, the FSB SU concluded that the following transaction could be considered as such: in December 2016 — January 2017, Mr. Khachaturov transferred the units of the RGS-assets to the shares of Nevsky Real Estate Unit Investment Fund to his other company in exchange on bills of another structure belonging to him. The investigation found the exchange unprofitable and estimated the damage at least 2 billion rubles.
Sergei Khachaturov was detained on April 17 of last year, and the other day the deadline established by law for custody is 18 months. The defense believes that the issue of further preventive measures to the businessman will be key at the preliminary hearing.
“There is no legal reason to extend the term of my client’s arrest,” businessman’s lawyer Alexei Melnikov told Kommersant. “A preventive measure for Sergei Khachaturov is a test to test the effectiveness of President Vladimir Putin’s policy to protect entrepreneurs from illegal pressure from any Cherkalin.”
“Signed by the President on August 2, 2019, changes to Art. 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation closed the loopholes previously available for the arrest of businessmen. ”Continues the lawyer.“ Some change in the situation, in particular in the approach of the Moscow City Court, is already noticeable. Several decisions were made on the release of persons accused of crimes related to entrepreneurial activity from pre-trial detention centers. We will insist on the adoption of the same decision by the Basmanny court. ”
Mr. Melnikov reminded that all crimes incriminated to Sergey Khachaturov belong to the sphere of entrepreneurial activity, which, by law, basically excludes such a preventive measure as arrest. Recall, last year, the decision to conclude Mr. Khachaturov in jail was even canceled. First, one of the deputy chairpersons of the Supreme Court, having examined the defense’s complaint, decided to submit the materials to the Presidium of the Moscow City Court, noting that the courts of the first and appeal instances did not give a reasoned assessment of the arguments of the businessman’s lawyers that the allegedly incriminated criminal act belongs to the sphere of entrepreneurial activity. In this case, the deputy chairman of the Supreme Court recommended the decision of the court of first instance to be canceled, and Sergey Khachaturov transferred to house arrest. After that, the Presidium of the Moscow City Court overturned the April decision on the arrest of the businessman and sent the case back for new consideration, however, the Lefortovo District Court left Sergei Khachaturov under arrest.
“The charges presented are obviously untenable,” added lawyer Alexei Melnikov. “The transfer of shares was completely clean, transparent and carried out under the daily control of the Central Bank. It is objectively impossible to prove what the owner violated by openly disposing of his own property, therefore the investigation, including to explain the pressure on the accused through a lengthy arrest, filled the case with evidence that could not withstand any criticism. We will pay attention to this with a view to a fair decision. ”