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The inquiry has outsmarted itself in Rosgranitsa case

The investigative department of the Ministry of internal Affairs of the Russian Federation has lost its confrontation with legal system for detaining the defendants of high profile criminal case about misappropriation of funds allocated by Rosgranitsa for the reconstruction of “Adler” and “Pogranitchniy” checkpoint.  The inquiry went to great lengths in this contention: from incredible allegations to plain craftiness.

 

All is well

Several days ago the Moscow City court dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s: upon the expiration of the year detention term, determined by legislation, the three defendants of Rosgranitsa case, who were opposing the inquiry’s point of view, were released on home arrest terms. These individuals are – Oleg Senkevich, a former deputy of the Federal agency of the state border development (Rosgranitsa), Sergey Kozlenkov, a former deputy of the head of Rosgranstroy, a company subordinate to Rosgranitsa and Evgeny Chaika, a director general of Moscow consulting group “Valuable Advise”.

Our sources who were present at the hearing in Moscow City Court remembered the address of the representative of the Investigative Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who is in charge of the criminal case about the misappropriation of more than 300 mln roubles from the state budget that were assigned for the reconstruction of checkpoints “Adler” in Sochi and “Pogranitchniy” at the Far East. An official from the main police investigative institution who demanded to prolong the detention acted pompous and when quoting the charges, he sounded as if he was giving a sentence. However the judge wasn’t convinced and all three defendants went home.  They will stay there under the surveillance of the employees of the Federal Penitentiary Service, who are responsible for carrying out an orderly house arrest procedure, but in more or less human conditions.

Those, familiar with the specifics of this criminal case, presume that the inquiry has gone that far that even the legislative system of Moscow almost openly demonstrates its distrust to the inquiry in this case.

 

More charges, less damage

The first “failure” of the police scenario happened on September 5, 2014 when the representative of the Investigative Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs appealed to Tversoky District Court of Moscow City to prolong the detention terms for Senkevich, Kozlenkov and Chaika. At that time the detention term for all three defendants was to end on September 8 and the representative of the inquiry appealed to court to prolong it for a year. One of his arguments was that the defendants were accused of new charges several days before the court hearing (and apparently specifically for this hearing too!): Kozlenkov and Chaika were accused of article 160, paragraph 4 of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation; Senkevich was additionally accused of article 5, paragraph 33 and article 174-1, paragraph 2, point b of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Legalisation (laundering) of funds and other assets, appropriated by a person as a result of the crime action)

The new articles of the charges were related to the old matter – the misappropriation of the budget funds, allocated for the reconstrution of «Adler» railroad checkpoint in 2009. Moreover, despite the formidable wording, in financial terms inquiry’s claims have been significantly reduced from almost 1.2 bln roubles in the initial charge to 170 mln roubles in the new charge. The new charges became part of criminal case #57380, initiated in September 2013 and initially the defendants were accused of the fraud on a large scale.

However, the judge compared the reverse proportion of the growing charges and diminishing sum of damage, suggested that the inquiry thinks over its positions and set all three defendants free. That’s where the magic began.

 

What else if not a forgery?

On the same day a peculiar letter came to Rosgranitsa from the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. An inquiry informed a plaintiff (such is an official status of Rosgranitsa in this case) about making a day before, on September 4, 2014 a separate criminal case from the case #57380 regarding to Oleg Senkevich, Sergey Kozlenkov and Evgeny Chaika. New charges were also mentioned and were not different from the ones, which were the reason for inquiry to ask to prolong the detention term for the accused at the hearing in Tverskoy District court on September 5…

Let us ask you, what is to be done with the documents that the representative of the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs showed at Tverskoy Court on September, 5? Only  the day before court hearing the new charges  that were the reason f or the inquiry to ask the court to prolong detention term for the accused were not part of the criminal case already for a day. How can it be called if not a forgery?

Or probably a notification sent to Rosgranitsa on September 5 that the criminal case was made a separate one, was a forgery? Such possibility can not excluded- theoretically, after a failure in court a criminal case with the new charges could have been made a separate one ex post facto.

However, these are only assumptions. Only the ones in the main police investigative institution know what actually happened. Let us nonetheless mention, that this bizarre situation had another development.

 

The latest creativity

On September 22, 17 days after the defendants, non-content with the inquiry charges, have been released, an Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation accused Oleg Senkevich, Serey Kozlenkov and Evgeny Chaika of new charges, article 210, paragraph 3 of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Setting up a Criminal Group). The new charges were slightly different from the old ones – a new episode on misappropriation of 130 mln roubles assigned by Rosgranitsa for the reconstruction of “Pogranichniy” checkpoint at the Far East was added. Moreover in the rulings to charge all three of them another articles are also mentioned – such as a “year old” fraud and “misappropriation” and “legalization” that on September 5 looked “crooked” from the legislative point of view.

On September 24 the new judge of the Tverskoy district court under the weight of such a big number of charges has brought the three defendants under arrest again. However, at this stage, 1 year,  a maximum detention term allowed by the procedure law was coming to an end. And on October 8 Moscow City Court refused an inquiry its appeal to prolong the detention for Senkevich, Kozlenkov and Chaika. Now they are going to defend themselves from home, which deprives the inquiry of its main traditional leverage – prison walls itself. And even when taking into account the demonstrated creativity, it’s difficult to imagine what kind of new charges can inquiry think of. Otherwise, it can be an absolute record breaker.

 

 

19.10.2014
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