Murmansk fishery industrialist accused of organizing abduction after testimony against crooked investigator
Moscow began a trial of Yuri Tuzov's extortioners.
The Investigation Committee of Russia returned to the original version in the accusation of well-known Murmansk fishery producer Yuri Tuzov.
According to Kommersant, up until recently it has been about Incitement to Abduction and Extortion (Art. 33 and 126, as well as Art. 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). However, the defendant and the defense wrote a petition to terminate the criminal case due to the businessman’s non-involvement in the acts he is charged with.
To recap, the businessman was detained in December 2017 on charges of Abduction and Extortion (Art. 126 and 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). According to investigators, a few months before this, Tuzov hired people to abduct the General Director of Logistics-Moscow LLC Pavel Surin. He had previously been involved in litigation with him over a bill for 400 million rubles ($6.2 m). Surin tried to get money for it for many years, but Tuzov did not recognize this bill as legal.
In the midst of another trial, in June 2017, Pavel Surin was abducted in Moscow by a group of Caucasians. For two days, the businessman was tortured and forced to sign documents confirming the absence of claims to Tuzov concerning the debt.
Yuri Tuzov himself called all accusations against him "absolutely groundless." Lawyers claimed that the fishery industrialist had an “iron alibi.” In June 2018, one of the allegedly hired kidnappers suddenly declared there was no abduction of Surin - all this was a mere feign, for which he was to receive 1 million rubles, though he did not specify from whom.
Tuzov himself took two polygraph tests and was released under house arrest; in addition, his abduction charge was commuted to incitement to this crime.
However, when he was still in Butyrka, investigator Maria Slezkina, leading his case, began extorting €2 million for a transfer under house arrest. In case of refusal, she threatened with new charges, as well as long-term imprisonment of his son, also a businessman. Through proxies Tuzov was able to inform the FSB about it. An operation was carried out and several people were detained during the transfer of part of the bribe.
Now Preobrazhensky District Court of Moscow began hearings in this case. In the dock are unemployed Georgi Atmachidi and Alexander Khristo, charged with Mediation in Bribery (Art. 291.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Slezkina herself was able to flee for Ukraine, after which she was put on the federal and international wanted list.
A few months ago, it was reported that she had begun negotiations regarding conditions for the return to her homeland with the investigators of the Main Investigation Directorate of the Investigation Committee, as well as with the FSB through her relatives.
It was precisely at the time when Tuzov began to speak in court as a witness, that he was again invited to the Moscow department of the Investigation Committee, where he was informed that the investigation of his case was resumed and he was again charged with organizing the kidnapping. This news triggered the blood pressure of Tuzov, who has recently suffered a stroke.
According to the lawyer of the businessman, Marina Yarosh, this indicates another attempt of the heads of the investigative body to save the reputation of the crooked investigator and themselves.
The other day Tuzov and his representatives wrote several statements at once, demanding to cease his criminal prosecution and initiate a criminal case on Knowingly False Denunciation (Art. 306 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) by Pavel Surin.
General’s son Mikhail Sal’nikov, Professor of the Department of Theory of Government and Law at the St. Petersburg University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation, has been detained for real estate fraud. Amid other corruption crimes hitting the headlines, this offense does not seem a high-profile one. But the point is that this is not the first criminal case instituted against professor Sal’nikov, and he is not the only relative of MIA general Viktor Sal’nikov having problems with the law.