Ex-owner of Cherkizovsky market fears his brother is ‘eliminated’ before trial
Telman Ismailov has recorded a video message expressing the fear that his brother might be killed.
The Investigative Committee has completed an investigation into the criminal case against businessman Rafik Ismailov, the brother of former Cherkizovsky market owner. He is accused of organizing the murder of two entrepreneurs (part 2 of Art. 105 and Art. 222 of the Russian Criminal Code), committed on the order of Telman Ismailov. However, Rafik Ismailov’s defense hopes that the Prosecutor General’s Office will not approve the indictment, Kommersant reports. The lawyers are confident that there were “numerous procedural violations” during the investigation. In addition, the defense believes that the prosecution relies on the testimony of the murder perpetrator, Mekhman Kerimov. In turn, Rafik Ismailov denies his involvement in the crime, saying that Mekhman Kerimov slandered him to avoid life imprisonment. The hitman, on whose testimony the prosecution rests, was sentenced to 13 years in a colony about a month ago.
The other day, Telman Ismailov recorded a video message expressing the fear that his brother might be killed. “I fear that he might not be brought to court, that they might kill him; I ask law enforcement agencies and the court to objectively consider this matter,” said the former owner of the Cherkizovsky market, who is currently internationally wanted.
Video: Ismailov on Kerimov
To recall, May 16, 2016, a Toyota Land Cruiser with the bodies of Story-Market mall owner Vladimir Savkin and his friend, head of the Lyublino-Motors, Yury Brilev was found on Novorizhskoe highway in the Moscow region. At the same time, the hitman was in the back of a car.
Soon, Mekhman Kerimov was detained on suspicion of a double murder. According to the investigation, Kerimov had met with Savkin on the eve of the crime. The recording from the CCTV at the gas station shows Kerimov getting into his victims’ jeep. The investigation later found out it was Rafik Ismailov who gave the hitman a ride on his Mercedes.
However, when giving evidence, Kerimov took all the blame, saying that the motive for murder was Savkin’s debt; as for Brilev, who was sitting next to him, he was a random victim.
After that, Rafik Ismailov was released, and the double murder charge was shifted to Kerimov. However, Savkin’s relatives ensured an appointment with ICR Head Aleksandr Bastrykin, after which the case file was referred from the ICR Main Investigations Directorate in the Moscow region to the Directorate’s central office. September 22, 2016, Rafik Ismailov was detained again.
The investigation could not establish Savkin’s indebtedness to Kerimov. The latter eventually concluded a pre-trial agreement and gave new testimony, according to which he was present during the conversation, in which Telman Ismailov asked his relatives to deal with Savkin in exchange for $2 million. The ICR believes that the motive for reprisal was a financial conflict between them.