“What are you smiling at? I’ll deck you.” Accused in embezzlement case at Vostochniy cosmodrome threatens expert
The investigation believes that he thereby violated the conditions of house arrest.
The Far Eastern District Military Court placed ex-head of Dalspetstroy company Yuri Khryzman and chief accountant of the firm Vladimir Ashimkhin into the pre-trial detention center, accused of embezzling more than 5 billion rubles ($85.9m) in the construction of the Vostochniy cosmodrome, Interfax reports. Previously, the accused were under house arrest.
The court changed Khryzman and Ashimkhin the measure of restraint on the evening of November 1. According to lawyer of Ashihmin Alexey Sleptsov, one of the reasons for this decision is a threat to a woman who conducted financial and economic expertise in the case. It is reported that in the corridor of the courthouse, the expert heard from Yuri Khryzman the phrase "What are you smiling at? I’ll deck you" and considered it as a threat. She appealed to the law enforcement agencies, which began a check on this fact.
Sleptsov noted that the Khryzman’s phrase was addressed not to the expert, but to Ashikhmin. According to the lawyer, the ex-head of Dalspetsstroy said not "smiling at", but "What’s got you all smiley?" The lawyer stressed that eyewitnesses of the conversation can confirm his version.
The incident invited attention of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia. The administration considered that the accused violated the conditions of house arrest by this conversation. According to these conditions, they did not have the right to communicate with each other outside the court hearings. Due to violations, the court decided to toughen the defendant's preventive measure.
Alexey Sleptsov said that the protection of Ashikhmin and Khryzman would appeal this decision.
The investigation of numerous thefts at the Vostochniy cosmodrome lasts almost three years. Yuri Khryzman was arrested on suspicion of abuse of official powers (part 3 of Article 285 of the Criminal Code) in October 2014. The investigation believes that together with Vladimir Ashimkhin, he spent 5.2 billion rubles, allocated as an advance on construction, for purposes not related to the construction of the cosmodrome.
In addition, Yuri Khrizman, his son Mikhail, and ex-speaker of the Khabarovsk Krai Duma Viktor Chudov are accused of Embezzlement by an organized group on an especially large scale (part 4 of Article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The investigation believes that in 2006-2009 they stole about 106 million rubles from the budget of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Dalspetsstroy under the Spetsstroy of Russia. The trial of these criminal cases has been conducted for more than a year by the Far Eastern District Military Court. The victims are Roscosmos and Dalspetsstroy.
Saburova believes that the Russian authorities violated articles 2 and 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, guaranteeing the right to life, as well as the right to freedom and personal inviolability.