Runaway businessman deported from US charged with murder of 19 years ago

Runaway businessman deported from US charged with murder of 19 years ago
Gennady Gavrilts

The other day, the Moscow City Court jury handed down a guilty verdict to businessman Gennady Gavrilts, who had been hiding in the U.S. for 17 years after murdering his Russian companion.

Despite the fact that there is no agreement on the extradition of fugitives between the United States and Russia, the US nevertheless have found a way to transfer Gavrilts to the Russian authorities. As it turned out, after the businessman fled to the United States, he managed to get a residence permit and was preparing to get American citizenship. However, when the story of the criminal prosecution surfaced, he was deprived of the residence permit, since the fugitive did not inform the authorities that a criminal case had been initiated against him in his homeland. 

Following the hearing in the Moscow City Court, the jury deliberated for about 3 hours, after which they delivered a verdict to Gavrilts.

All 12 jurors unanimously recognized that the murder of businessman Anatoly Sirichenko was committed on April 17, 1998 on Shipilovskaya Street in Moscow. He was the president of the Russian-American Service Enterprise Unitrans-M. Inc. They also recognized Gavrilts as the person who ordered the hit. According to the investigation materials, the men were business partners. At the same time, only 7 of 12 jurors voted in favor of Gavrilts's guilt, while 10 out of 12 decided that the accused person deserved indulgence.

Let us add that Gennady Gavrilts had remained in detention for several years, first in the US, and then in Russia. After the committed crime, he fled and was declared internationally wanted. The Russian law enforcers found out that he was hiding in the US. The runaway criminal lived and worked there; at the same time, he managed to obtain a residence permit and was preparing to take American citizenship.

Since there is no agreement on the extradition of fugitives between the United States and Russia, the Russian supervisory authority proposed not to extradite, but to deport him, as Gavrilts had illegally obtained the residence permit – he had concealed from the US authorities the fact of criminal prosecution for the crime committed in his homeland. As a result, his green card was canceled, and Gavrilts himself was deported to Russia. It took the US migration authorities about 10 years to prove the validity of such actions in court.

After the deportation, the runaway businessman was taken in custody in Russia.

According to the investigative bodies, Gennady Gavrilts is the contractor of Anatoly Sirichenko's murder, resulting from the disagreements they had about the conduct of a joint car business.

Meanwhile, Gavrilts told the jurors that he had not benefited from the death of his companion, since Sirichenko's share later passed to his family. He also added that the death of his business partner was beneficial to the co-owner of one of the Moscow restaurants Marat Akhunov, who appeared in the Moscow City Court as a witness on the part of the prosecution. According to Gavrilts, there was a conflict between the men over Sirichenko's real estate in the Moscow region.

Let us recall that, as previously reported by the CrimeRussia, the murder case of Anatoly Sirichenko was solved after a year. Back then, several defendants in the case were detained, including Marat Akhunov, who had allegedly received $25 thousand from Gavrilts for the businessman's murder, Valery Sapronov, who had acted as an intermediary, as well as Viktor Ivanov and Ilya Ilyukhin. According to the investigative bodies, one of them shot a businessman from a TT pistol, and the second took the killer away from the crime scene.

During the searches of Marat Akhunov's place, operatives found a videotape. Later the video from that tape became the main evidence in the criminal case. The video, filmed on the video camera belonging to crime lord Vladimir Priym (known as Prima in the criminal world), showed the 'interrogation' of Sapronov's intermediary; the former used to protect Unitrans-M. Inc.

After the violent interrogation, Valery Sapronov told that Anukhov was involved in the businessman's murder. At the same time, he ignored Prima's inducing questions concerning Gennady Gavrilts. It turned out that Prima intended to use the record to blackmail the businessmen who were mentioned on it. As a result, Anukhov and his accomplices were convicted for murder; as for Prima, he was convicted for the abduction of Valery Sapronov.

By the time the trial of Gennady Gavrilts began, Akhunov and Sapronov had already been released. In the Moscow City Court, they both testified against Gavrilts.

It should also be added that Gavrilts and his defense do not agree with the jury's verdict and intend to appeal it in the Supreme Court.

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