Maksimenko’s lawyer said investigator threatened to "break" his client
Mikhail Maksimenko’s lawyer Alexander Vershinin claimed that the investigator threatened to "break" the defendants in a high-profile case of swindling for their refusal to sign a pre-trial agreement.
The investigator Mikhail Savitsky, who had instituted proceedings against senior members of the Russian Investigative Committee, threatened to teach them a lesson for refusing to conclude a pre-trial agreement. This was mentioned in an interview with Business FM by Mikhail Maksimenko’s lawyer Alexander Vershinin.
"The FSB has nothing on Maksimenko. All the evidence in his case is based on two conversations between Lamonov and Maksimenko. There is no other evidence — neither the briber, nor the intermediary, nor the bribetaker. They are breaking them only for one purpose — to get a confession. At the very first minute, investigator Savitsky told us: "If you do not plead guilty now... We offer a pre-trial agreement, then you'll be fine. If not, we will break you anyway." This is a verbatim quote," the lawyer claimed.
Besides, Alexander Vershinin said that during this questioning Maksimenko asked for time to study the decision on making him a defendant in the case. However, later in the case file the defense saw that he had allegedly refused to testify. "We did not appeal to the article 51 of the Constitution, we just asked for some time," Vershinin said, outraged.
The lawyer insisted that following this event the officer of the FSB Department M started visiting the defendants on the daily basis. Vershinin believed that his client began to feel ill after these visits of the security officers.
"When Viktoriya Rudzinskaya came to him on Tuesday, August 30, he was in a state of euphoria, he was almost laughing," the lawyer said. "On September 2, he could not remember anything, and was absolutely delusional. When I spoke to him on September 8, all the symptoms were obvious for me. I have alreaedy seen this in another prison, in another FSB case".
Alexander Vershinin believed that Maksimenko started showing signs of memory lapses, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches from the possible use of psychotropic drugs. However, the defendant himself does not remember anything that happened to him during the visits of the FSB officers. The lawyer is planning to appeal to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
"The FSB Department M carries out counter-intelligence measures, including in the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Justice Ministry, which is assigned to them. And that is why every chief (of the detention center – Ed.) is trembling when an officer from the Department M comes to visit. Therefore, they will do everything that is demanded by the FSB, whether it is legal or not," Vershinin said.
On October 18, Alexander Vershinin and his colleague Viktoriya Rudzinskaya were refused the right to see their client without any explanation. However, at night a member of the Public Monitoring Commission Zoya Svetova managed to get inside the Butyrka jail. Still, she was able to communicate with Maksimenko only through the glass window of the cell, which had been sealed by FSB officers for some reason.
"They (the human rights activists - Ed.) could only yell through the bulletproof glass. He asked: "Where are my lawyers, why have not they come?" Zoya said: "Misha, they are here, but they not allowed to enter," Vershinin said.
The lawyer noted that it was the first time he saw the round-the-clock surveillance from the security officers for the arrested person, who remained in a detention facility.
"What do they mean "the cell is sealed, and we have no right to open it?" Have you sealed a living human being? You can just as well lock him in a vault, close it, and seal it. This is not even in the style of 1937th. This is pure science fiction," Vershinin exclaimed.
Unnecessary witness. Death of penitentiary service lieutenant colonel Viktor Shevchenko: Suicide or murder?
Two events occurred in close succession in the Irkutsk region. On February 11, 2018, it became known that major general Anatoly Kilanov, Head of the Regional Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, was removed from office. The main suspect in an anti-corruption inquest carried out in late 2017, Kilanov was accused of extorting ‘levies’ from his subordinates. On February 12, 2018, Viktor Shevchenko, his deputy for service support, was found hanged. The investigation is currently explaining this suicide by a family quarrel. Has the lieutenant colonel really taken his own life? Or was it a disguised murder? And if so, who could be interested in it?