Restaurateur in Shakro Molodoy's case surrenders
Businessman Oleg Sheikhametov said that the thief in law was not involved in the ransom in exchange for releasing Italianets from the detention center.
Co-owner of the chain of restaurants Yakitoriya Oleg Sheikhametov turned himself in the Investigative Directorate of the FSB. Kommersant reports, referring to a source, the businessman who did not come for interrogations to investigators for a long time flew to Moscow specifically to testify in the case on a bribe from thief in law Zakhar Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy) to high-ranking investigators of the Investigative Committee (ICR). As explained by the lawyer of the restaurateur Vladimir Zherebenkov, his client, who recently lived abroad, was worried because "another person" was under arrest for his crime.
According to Oleg Sheikhametov, it was him who decided to bribe the employees of the Investigative Committee in order to mitigate the article his fellow 'authority' Andrei Kochuykov (Italianets) was charged under and thus to release him from the detention center. For this, the businessman gave his friend, ex-policeman Evgeny Surzhikov, 500 thousand dollars. After this, the Main Investigative Directorate of the ICR in Moscow changed Italianets' indictment from Art. 163 of the Criminal Code (Extortion) for a more lenient Art. 330 of the Criminal Code (Arbitrariness), but immediately after his release overnight into June 15, 2016 he was detained by the FSB.
Notably, it was previously reported that the total amount of the bribe to high-ranking employees of the ICR of Russia Denis Nikandrov, Mikhail Maximenko and Alexander Lamonov was supposed to be $5 million, but the initial installment amounted to $1 million. Then alleged bribe-giver Zakhar Kalashov was detained, and when a correspondence, which featured "General Nikandrov" was found in his phone, employees of the ICR were also rounded up.
Now from the testimony of Oleg Sheikhametov it transpires that Shakro Molodoy is not involved in the ransom for Italianets. The criminal case under Art. 291 of the Criminal Code (Brive-Giving) was initiated against Sheikhametov, and after voluntary surrender was registered, the FSB investigator released him from criminal liability in connection with active repentance. After that the restaurateur returned to Europe again.
The day before it became known that the first Deputy Head of the ICR of the Russian Federation in Moscow, Denis Nikandrov claimed that he had not taken the money to release Kochuykov, and he had re-qualified the article of the indictment for free because of fear of the Head of the Main Directorate for Interdepartmental Cooperation and Internal Security, Mikhail Maximenko. The latter, according to testimony, had great authority at any level in the Investigative Committee and due to this he could achieve any decision he needed.
Thus, businessman Oleg Sheikhametov handed the money over to ex-policeman Evgeny Surzhikov. The latter reached out to former colleague in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Denis Bogorodetsky, who later worked in the ICR as a subordinate of Alexander Lamonov. According to Bogorodetsky, Lamonov told him where to get off, advising "not to mix up with thieves" in the future. Lamonov, in turn, said that the final recipient of the bribe was to be his boss, Mikhail Maximenko. The latter basically refused to testify to the FSB investigators and does not admit his guilt.
Meanwhile, to this point the defendants involved in this intricate criminal case actively testifying against each other have not entered into a single deal with the investigation, except for Denis Bogorodetsky. As reported by Rosbalt, on the eve the Prosecutor General's Office confirmed the corresponding agreement. General Nikandrov is also preparing for an official deal with the investigation. After a year he began to actively cooperate with the FSB, and can be released under house arrest. And if the fact that Nikandrov released Kochuykov from the detention center without taking money under Maximenko's pressure is confirmed, his indictment can be re-qualified from Art. 290 of the Criminal Code (Bribe-Taking) for a more lenient Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Neglect of Duty), which provides for the arrest and custodial penalty only in the event of grave consequences. Given the importance of his testimony against his colleagues with the Investigative Committee, who took bribes using bankcards, the general can count on a nominal punishment.
As for thief in law Zakhar Kalashov, his charge of giving bribe can be dropped. Thus, his criminal case will have Extortion and Creation of a Criminal Community left.
There are a few other people involved in the case on giving the bribe to high-ranking employees of the ICR, who are abroad and so far have not contacted the investigators. Among them are business partner of Sheikhametov, State Duma deputy Andrei Skoch and former adviser to the chairman of the Supreme Court Igor Borisenko. According to the FSB, the businessmen were personally acquainted with Kalashov and Kochuykov.