Charges of swindling against FSO officer involved in procurement of Mercedes cars were dropped
The Federal Guard Service (FSO) officer Kostylev engaged in the procurement department agreed to end his criminal prosecution on the non-vindicating grounds. Firstly very confusing due to the lack of the injured party case slowly unravels.
The Russian Investigative Committee has completed the re-investigation of the controversial criminal case of fraud in procurement in the mid-2000s related to Mercedes Benz cars for the needs of the MIA and FSO. The FSO officer Mikhail Kostylev, who was responsible for the purchase of the vehicles for his department, agreed to the termination of the criminal prosecution without the vindicating grounds due to the expiration of the ten-year statute of limitations, reported Kommersant.
The case of Vitaly Baturin, who was in charge of the procurement of vehicles in the MIA, Mikhail Budynin’s agent and the former Key Account Manager of CJSC Mercedes-Benz Rus (a subsidiary of Daimler AG) Catherine Priemskaya were separated.
Now, if the Prosecutor General's Office confirms the indictment, the retrial will take place not in a military court, where it was returned, but in the court of general jurisdiction.
Earlier, the case of fraud in the purchase of luxury cars was heard at the 94th garrison court. It was returned to the GP in July 2016 for the elimination of violations of the CPC. The court considered one of the main violations to be the presence of only one soldier Mikhail Kostylev and his three civilian accomplices.
The second important point, because of which the military court returned the case is the fact that the investigation did not let the injured party to familiarize with the case materials. Firstly, the ICR Main Directorate identified the injured party – German concern Daimler AG – only three years after the investigation started. The concern flatly refuses to consider itself as the injured party. Earlier, the US court has recognized the representatives of the group guilty of bribing officials in 22 countries, including Russia.
Besides, the very investigation in Russia began after the US authorities in 2010, transferred to the Russian Federation Prosecutor General's Office almost 150 thousand pages of materials about representatives of the automaker bribing the Russian officials.
While it is still unclear who will represent Daimler in court. The only thing the concern agreed to is to hire a lawyer bureau Padva and Partners to familiarize with the 120 volumes of the preliminary investigation materials. If, in the end, the automaker does not recognize itself a victim, the criminal proceedings can be terminated since the investigation under Art. 259 of the Criminal Code cannot be conducted without the injured party, and heard by the court.
It is to be recalled that from 2000 to 2007, the company Mercedes-Benz RUS under the guise of commission agreements entered into a number of corruption transactions for the supply of the cars of its production to the garages of the Russian MIA and FSO. According to the investigators, recipients of the money could be Vitaly Baturin and Mikhail Kostylev. There are reports that more than €1 million were received on the accounts of offshore companies in the Latvian Multibank and Ogres Kommercbank, affiliated with the staff of the MIA and FSO.
Former member of the Federation Council believes that this once again points to numerous violations and falsification of evidence during the investigation of his criminal case on charges of bribe-taking in the amount of 27.5 million rubles ($457 thousand).