Russian ex-police officer and extortionist granted early release 

Russian ex-police officer and extortionist granted early release
Andrey Grivtsov (left) and Sergey Hatsernov (right) before the start of the court session. Photo: Moscow City Court

Sergey Hatsernov, the only person who was convicted on the high-profile case of extorting $ 16 million from the Russian businessman Vladimir Palikhata, has left the detention facility, where he was serving his sentence imposed by the court, and returned to the capital city.

At the end of 2015, Sergey Hatsernov filed a petition for his release on parole. In January 2016, the court satisfied this motion, and soon afterwards the ex-colonel returned to Moscow.

In the next month, Hatsernov will have to yet again recall the circumstances of the case that cost him 3 years in prison. In December 2015, the Moscow police arrested a wanted criminal Sergey Kirimov, who stands as another defendant in the same case. The court hearings have begun and the witnesses have started giving their statements. Hatsernov has a bad luck of being one of them.

History of the Case

The investigation claims that in 2009, Andrey Grivtsov and Sergey Hatsernov, in collaboration with two other felons — ex-prosecutor and lawyer Ruslan Parkin and businessman Sergey Kirimov — were trying to extort approximately $ 15-20 million from the president of Rosenergomash Company Vladimir Palikhata. In case of non-payment, the extortionists threatened to indict Palikhata and his lawyer Mikhail Vytnov for organizing a forcible takeover of the Moscow Research Institute of Elastomeric Materials, according to investigators. Grivtsov supervised this case in person and achieved tangible progress. Moreover, he even managed to have a few people convicted, including Palikhata’s friend Nikolay Nesterenko.

The record shows that in order to detain the investigator, a police officer and an alleged intermediary of Sergey Kirimov, Palikhata’s representatives agreed to pay a bribe, and even put $ 8 million in a deposit box. Ultimately, Kirimov took the money.

At that time Hatsernov headed the Department for Combatting Extremism of the Moscow City Police. In early 2010, the whole country learned his name when he became one of the defendants in the case of extorting $ 16 million from the Russian businessman Vladimir Palikhata.

The main suspect in the extortion case was a special investigator of the Main Investigative Directorate under the Russian Investigative Committee Andrey Grivtsov. The investigators claimed that he had been trying to extort a bribe from Palikhata in return for ceasing the prosecution. First, the police detained unemployed Sergey Kirimov upon receipt of the initial amount of the bribe ($ 8 million) in the Interkommerts Bank. The media said that Kerimov had been a mediator in this transaction. Later Grivtsov himself was arrested as well.

A few days after the suspects had been arrested, the investigators released the details of the criminal case. According to that information, «a whole group of intermediaries» was involved in this crime. Apart from Grivtsov and Kirimov, the group consisted of a lawyer and former Deputy Prosecutor of the Central District of Moscow Ruslan Parkin and Sergey Hatsernov. Both of them were put on a wanted list.

The media later published the assumptions by the investigative team, which claimed that «the largest bribe in the history of the department» was made possible through the information Grivtsov had obtained during the investigation of the attack on the Moscow Research Institute of Elastomeric Materials. In other words, Grivtsov «used the materials of the criminal cases pending suit in an attempt to fabricate the evidence» and thus implicate Palikhata and his lawyer Mikhail Vytnov. This way he hoped to prove «their crimination» and hence accuse them of the illegal takeover. Hatsernov’s role in this extortion case was not disclosed.

In the end, Grivtsov was fully acquitted, while Sergey Hatsernov was found guilty of attempted fraud and sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment in the summer of 2014.

Caption Photo: Andrey Grivtsov
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