Investigative Committee replies to Colonel Zakharchenko’s letter instead of President Putin

Investigative Committee replies to Colonel Zakharchenko’s letter instead of President Putin
Dmitry Zakharchenko

No violations have been revealed in the criminal prosecution of Colonel Zakharchenko’s family members. The appeal of lawyer Emelyanov to the president was forwarded to the Prosecutor General's Office and the ICR.

Lawyer of former Acting Head of the MIA Main Directorate for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department T Dmitry Zakharchenko, whose family had been deprived of assets worth 9 billion rubles ($158.5 million), has received a reply to his address to President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Kommersant reports.

However, it was not the Presidential Administration that replied, but the Russian Investigative Committee, where Viktor Emelyanov’s letter had been referred along with the Prosecutor General’ Office. It says that “the criminal case against Dmitry Zakharchenko was initiated legally due to the availability of sufficient data indicating the signs of a crime in his actions,” and a complex of investigative actions is currently being carried out into it. The letter was signed by Senior Investigator for priority cases under ICR Head, Major-General of Justice Sergey Chernyshov.

The publication notes that in his five-page letter, lawyer Emelyanov mentioned the lack of justification for involving the family members of Colonel Zakharchenko, as well as his numerous girlfriends, as co-defendants in the suit of the Prosecutor General's Office.

According to the lawyer, the initiation of a criminal case must be accompanied by an appropriate resolution specifying the reason and grounds. However, no reason is specified in the ruling of September 9, 2016; the grounds was a recording of conversation about money between Zakharchenko and businessman Anatoly Pshegornitsky in the Moscow café Village Kitchen on December 25, 2015.

At the same time, the lawyer notes, the recording could not have been the basis for the criminal case. At the time of its initiation, the recording of Zakharchenko and Pshegornitsky’s conversation was 9-month-old; in accordance with the law on investigative activities, phonograms and other materials obtained as a result of listening to the negotiations of persons against whom no criminal case was initiated should be destroyed within six months after the end of listening.

Emelyanov expects the supervisory agency to answer the question about the validity of the involvement of Zakharchenko’s family members and his civil wives as co-defendants in the suit of the Prosecutor General's Office and the recovery of money, cars and real estate in the amount of more than 8 billion rubles. As follows from his appeal to President Putin, part of the apartments specified in the suit of the Prosecutor General's Office were acquired by the defendants before Zakharchenko's transfer from Rostov-on-Don to Moscow, and Colonel Zakharchenko had nothing to do with them.

The lawyer called the ICR’s reply a ‘banal excuse’. He also expressed his intention to once again appeal to the Presidential Administration asking to give a reasoned answer to the questions posed.

To recall, the Investigative Committee has terminated the investigation against Colonel Zakharchenko on two episodes – Bribe-Taking (Art. 290 of the Russian Criminal Code) and Exceeding Official Powers (Art. 286). The first concerns receiving $800 thousand from restaurateur Mehdi Duss, and the second is about warning the management of Nota Bank about the forthcoming searches and interrogations.

MIA Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko was detained during a special operation by the FSB in September 2016. The police found $124 million, €1.5 million, and 342 million rubles ($6 million) in cash when searching his sister’s Moscow apartment. The investigators later discovered the colonel had bought 27 expensive real estate objects (apartments and parking lots). It is worth mentioning that officially he has earned 12 million rubles ($213.000) over the last 15 years. He registered his parents, numerous partners, and their kids as the real estate owner.

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