FSB officer furnishes details on Alexey Ulyukaev’s detention
An FSB officer took the stand as a witness today at the court hearing of the case against Alexey Ulyukaev. The officer was involved in the detention of the official.
Alexey Kalugin revealed the circumstances of Ulyukaev’s detention. According to him, he was involved in the experiment on November 14, 2016. At 17:30, a BMW was stopped near the Rosneft office. Ulyukaev got out of the car. FSB officers found a bag in the trunk, but Ulyukaev claimed he did not know who had put the bag in there. Then one of the officers asked Ulyukaev and his driver to put a special solution on their hands: ultraviolet light showed the colorant on the hands of both. The ex-minister agreed to show the contents of the bag. The fob of the key Ulyukaev had used to open the bag also showed traces of glow. The officer found $2 million in the bag, but Ulyukaev said he did not know whose money it was. He did not explain why he had the coloring substance on his hands and where he got the key to open the bag.
"On the day of the experiment, the bag and the key were handed over to Sechin. The key was also treated [to the solution]", said Kalugin.
Mr. Gridnev, the lawyer representing Ulyukaev, asked the witness as to who had given him the instructions to stop the minister's car. Kalugin was evasive saying that he had had "primary information obtained during the operative and search activity." When the lawyer repeated the question, the judge raised her voice and told him to stop asking about it. Eventually, Kalugin said he did not recall as to who had ordered to stop the car. However, the lawyers did manage to find out who had sent the FSB officer for the experiment. It was the head of the department “K”, Ivan Tkachev.
As a reminder: the former minister of economic development is accused of taking a bribe of $2 million from the head of Rosneft, Igor Sechin. That was the price the ex-minister wanted for his approval required for Rosneft to buy shares of Bashneft, according to Sechin.
The money was in a basket with Ivanich’s Sausages. However, Sechin was not heard uttering any key word that would show Ulyukaev that there was money in the basket. According to Ulyukaev, he believed that the basket contained a gift from the Rosneft CEO, such as a bottle of wine.
Ulyukaev was detained on November 14, 2016 near the office of Rosneft in Moscow. On November 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed him due to loss of trust and confidence. Ulyukaev maintains innocence.
The prosecutors want the former Russian Federation Council member to go to prison for 14 years instead of 9 and pay a 500-million-ruble ($8.8 million) fine instead of 70 million rubles ($1.2 million).