Arresting witness in case of businessman Krishyan tells court about bribe

Arresting witness in case of businessman Krishyan tells court about bribe
Mikhail Krishyan

The witness said, at the behest of the defendant, that he had been under pressure from police officers and given 2 thousand rubles ($30) as “gratitude for assistance.”

In the City Court of St. Petersburg, which is considering the criminal case against businessman Mikhail Krishyan, who had been extradited from Estonia, a witness told about a strange bribe from the police. As reported by Rosbalt, Andrey Nikiforov, who had been an arresting witness during the search in the businessman’s apartment in March of 2011, was invited to the Court. It was then that the police officers found packages with Beretta, cartridges, and documents in the name of Mikhail Krishyan on the roof of a small pavilion under the house windows.

Nikiforov said that the operatives had found several million rubles in five thousand bills and several laptops. At this point, the defendant suddenly turned to the witness, asking him to tell he was involved in the undercover games of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Making a remark to Krishyan, the judge asked the defense lawyers to rephrase the question.

“Indeed, there was an undercover game, in which I got involved. I believe officers of one department were at odds about something with officers of another department. In was in the wrong place, wrong time, I guess. I didn’t like how they treated me and what they wanted from me. They wanted me to tell that I had drawn the weapon from the defendant’s pockets. I don’t remember what exactly happened, but I’m positive it had nothing to do with the defendant,” the witness said. 

According to Nikiforov, a few days after the search, he was invited to the MIA General Administration in St. Petersburg, where he was put under pressure, having been reminded that he had an outstanding conviction. It turned out that Nikiforov himself had been a former special investigative agent in the Department of Internal Affairs of the Primorsky district, but was later convicted under Exceeding Official Powers (Art. 286 of the Russian Criminal Code). 

“The conversation took such a turn that I would be likely put under pressure on the defendant’s part to change my testimony, and that it would concern the pistol from the package. They made it perfectly clear that if I had done this, they would have done it too, and the conditional term would’ve become a real term,” Nikiforov said.

Then the Court decided to read out Nikiforov’s testimony from the case file: “When I was going to leave the MIA General Administration building after the conduct of investigative actions with my participation, an unknown officer caught up with me, shook my hand, and said: Thank you for the assistance and your time.” When I let go of his hand, I saw 2 thousand rubles. I regarded this act as gratitude for my time. I did not see this as a bribe. I probably will not be able to identify this employee, because he had an unremarkable appearance.” 

The state prosecutor asked whether Nikiforov had really received 2,000 rubles from a police officer. The witness confirmed and added that he would not be able to identify the police officer in question.

The witness could not answer the clarifying questions, for which such a strange amount of money had been given. After some awkward silence, he was released, since there were no more questions to Nikiforov. 

Later, the lawyer Andrey Berezun said that the defense would ask to recognize all the testimony of this witness inadmissible evidence. 

To recall, Mikhail Krishyan is charged with arranging the murder of Pulkovo-3 television and radio company owner, Mikhail Karachev, in 2010. For this purpose, Status LLC deputy director involved Viktor Shishkin and Denis Mikhaylov into the crime group; Mikhaylov also got Vadim Sorokin and Ruslan Aksyanov to commit the murder. 

In April of the same year, Shishkin informed Mikhaylov about the victim's place of residence and his car; a month later, on Blagodatnaya Street of the Moskovsky district of St. Petersburg, Sorokin together with Aksyanov attacked Karachev, severely beating him. The injured head of Pulkovo-3 was hospitalized; he died in the hospital. 

Later, according to the investigation, Krishyan once again involved Mikhaylov. This time, for the assassination of entrepreneur Volnukhin. In late October, the latter was killed with five shots with a zip gun on 2-ya Zhernovskaya Street. 

After the detention of Krishyan and the aforementioned search, the court decided not to place the defendant in custody and released him on bail of 2 million rubles ($29,270). Krishyan disappeared and was put on the wanted list through Interpol. In August 2013, he was detained in Estonia. Three years ago, Estonia extradited him to Russia. 

The other day in Court, Krishyan partially acknowledged his guilt, but called another person the organizer of the murder. He also did not plead guilty under the article on the storage of weapons. 

Earlier, in October 2017, the Court sentenced Krishyan in the case of illegal seizure of the buildings of PTK Stroitel CJSC. The Leninsky District Court found him guilty of swindling and illegal imprisonment and sentenced him to 7 years’ imprisonment in an ordinary regime colony.

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