Colonel Zakharchenko claims investigators violate justice

Colonel Zakharchenko claims investigators violate justice
Zakharchenko, dressed in a suit and a white shirt, was brought to court by masked men with a huge Rottweiler

The arrest for the Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko, who stands accused under three articles of the Criminal Code, has been extended until March 8, 2017. Earlier, the Russian Investigative Committee extended the preliminary investigation of his case for the same period.

This was reported today at the Presnensky Court of Moscow, where a meeting took place on the issue of changing the measure of restraint for Zakharchenko, who had previously been arrested until November 8.

Zakharchenko was brought to the court room by guards in disguise with a huge Rottweiler, RBC reported. The accused was dressed in a suit and a white shirt. At the entrance, he answered the questions of journalists, and promised to "tell everything."

Zakharchenko’s defense insists on his innocence, claiming that the body of evidence in his case is insufficient. The colonel himself also refuses to plead guilty. However, the court rejected the motion of lawyers to transfer their client under house arrest.

The ICR investigator leading the case focused on Zakharchenko’s possible involvement in other corruption crimes and said that the investigation planned to establish the origin of 8.5 billion rubles seized in the apartment of his sister. Representative of the investigation said that he was strongly against any other preventive measure for Zakharchenko, and the state prosecution fully supported him.

In addition, during this period, the investigation team will obtain the results of the linguistic and phonoscopic expertise and carefully study all materials of the case and evidence.

Meanwhile, the arrested Colonel, when given the floor, said that the case contained no concrete evidence to either his involvement in corruption crimes, as stated by the investigation, or the ownership of the money seized from his sister. He also noted that the investigators ignored his requests for face-to-face with other defendants, in particular, with the detained managers of Nota-Bank, who he had allegedly warned of upcoming raids and detentions.

At the end of his speech in court, Zakharchenko expressed concerns about the consequences of possible pressure put on witnesses with an aim to libel him. He also referred to the serious deterioration of his health during the time spent in prison.

"Your honor, I ask to stop this mayhem," the accused said in his final words.

The Interim Head of the Department against Crimes in Fuel and Energy Complex of the MIA General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption was arrested on September 9, during a special operation of the Federal Security Service. A total of 8.5 billion rubles, mostly in foreign cash, was seized during a search of his car and his sister’s apartment. Zakharchenko was charged under three articles of the Criminal Code - 285 (Abuse of Official Powers), 290 (Bribe-Taking) and 294 (Interference with the Preliminary Investigation).

Investigators believe that Zakharchenko is associated with a number of high-profile criminal cases. In addition, his family has a few luxury apartments in Moscow, a number of expensive SUVs worth about 25 million rubles, and property in the Rostov Region. It has also transpired that Zakharchenko’s father, a retired village teacher, has accounts in Swiss banks open in his name, with the total amount of funds on them nearing 300 million euros. Several houses in Spain and Switzerland officially belong to him.

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