GRU retired Сolonel accused of businessman contract murder
Investigators believe that a business partner of an entrepreneur decided to order a hit on him to take possession of the assets of the company.
Retired Сolonel of the GRU, acting Captain of the Volga Cossack army Gennady Korotenko is accused of the murder of 56-year-old Nikolay Martynov, the co-founder of Cyprus company Clinolia Holding Limited. The investigation calls Anton Erokhin, Martynov’s business partner, the crime customer, Kommersant reports.
The businessman’s homicide took place on March 30, 2014 near his separate house in village Iksha in Moscow region. The killer fired Martynov when the latter got out of the car on arrival in the village and headed for the house to open the gate. The bullets hit the businessman in the head and chest. The driver of the businessman, who miraculously dodged the bullets, took Martynov to hospital. However doctors were unable to help the victim, he died in a medical facility without regaining consciousness.
After the incident, the Chief Directorate of the Investigative Committee in Moscow region initiated a case under Murder article (Art. 105 of the Criminal Code), but investigators could not get on the trail of criminals for a long time. Activities carried out in Nizhny Novgorod by regional FSB operatives and the police became the impetus for the investigation. In August 2015 security forces broke into a private garage with a full arsenal of weapons. The weapons seized featured even a portable anti-aircraft missile complex Igla. It turned out that the owner of the garage was local resident Gennady Korotenko, who had a Makarov gun in his pocket at the time of detention. The detainee claimed that he picked up the gun for gardens protection that involves his organization Cossack Freemen named after Ermak Timofeevich, a structural part of the Volga Cossack army. In addition, people who know Korotenko noted that he needed the weapons for "infrequent trips to the capital" – in Moscow the Captain had a side job of protecting businessmen. According to the Cossack, arsenal disclosed did not belong to him but to some "sketchy friend", to whom he rented his garage. The tenant however has not been identified yet.
The police of Nizhny Novgorod did not believe Korotenko’s version and accused him of Illegal Acquisition of Firearms (Art. 222 of the Criminal Code). Subsequently, the results of conducted examinations helped the investigation to establish that businessman Martynov was shot from one of the guns seized in the garage. After the discovery of the new circumstances the Nizhny Novgorod case was merged with the case of the murder and sent to the Investigative Committee in Moscow region. Thus, the Cossack was accused of the contract Murder committed by hire by a group of persons (items (g, h), part 2 of Art. 105 of the Criminal Code).
A few months later the investigators got on the trail of a possible customer of Martynov’s murder. It was 35-year-old business partner of the killed Anton Erokhin. The investigators believe that the partners owning Clinolia Holding Limited in equal shares, could not divide the company and its assets, that is why differences broke out between them. Notably, the Cyprus company owns several Russian enterprises on production of raw materials and equipment for oil and gas and chemical industries. As the partners could not agree on the price of assets, Erokhin, according to investigators, decided to simply ‘remove’ Martynov, ordering his killing at Cossack Korotenko. The life of Clinolia co-owner was estimated at 1 million rubles ($17.2 thousand).
The Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee in Moscow region has already reported on the completion of the investigation, but the defendants of the case who study the materials in jail do not agree with the charges.
Thus, the defense of Anton Erokhin claims that he had no motive to kill the copartner since shortly before the crime the businessmen, according to them, concluded a "win-win deal". In addition, after Martynov’s death the business of Erokhin declined and he even was declared bankrupt by court.
Representatives of the Volga Cossacks also disagree with the position of the investigation. Chairman of Freemen Board Sergey Akimov believes that by detaining Korotenko with weapons the law enforcement officers simply decided to attribute the murder to him. Friends of the accused do not believe that the Cossack could take the role of the killer. As proof they provide his track record and many awards. For example, the former colonel of the GRU participated in Afghanistan, Abkhazian and Chechen wars.
Saburova believes that the Russian authorities violated articles 2 and 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, guaranteeing the right to life, as well as the right to freedom and personal inviolability.