What happened with Evgenia Vasilieva’s arrested colleagues?
According to Ella Pamfilova, the case over embezzlement in the Ministry of Defense showed that Russia has two types of proceedings – «elite» and «for the people».
The high-profile scandalous case over embezzlement on large scale in the Ministry of Defense has not attracted anyone’s attention for long time. That is because the main accused were skillfully rescued from the criminal penalty. The Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov, who was firstly accused in abuse of office, was not even sentenced over art. 293 para. 1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – “Negligence”, incriminated to him by the Russian Investigative Committee. In February 2014 he was included in the amnesty to the 20 anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, recognized as "the defender of the Fatherland" and criminal prosecution concerning him has ended. Today, former Minister is a member of the board of directors of holding Vertolety Rossii, one of the owners of Ordynka-40 Limited Liability Company (LLC), Primas Company and also industrial director of Rostech.
Second and the most scandalous figurant of the criminal case over embezzlement in the Ministry of Defense – former head of the Department of Property Matters Evgenia Vasilieva was sitting under home arrest for 2 years. Whereas, while the investigation of the case was still in process she managed to write a song, film a video clip, organize several exhibitions of her paintings and was also writing and publishing poetries. Finally, the suspected was convicted for fraud, got 5 years in colony, but officially was under custody for 3 month only. Of them she spent in Vladimirskaya women’s colony only 34 days, she has never been allocated to any detachment and she was living individually in quarantine the whole month. Though, many journalists claimed that they saw Evgenia Vasilieva in center of Moscow at the same time, however the General Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service believes that these rumors are proofless.
Later, former female bureaucrat was released on parole. The court did not even wait for the expiration of 10 days for the appeal of the decision obligatory on the law. The convicted left the colony at the same day, few hours later. Today Yevgenia Vasilieva is developing her own jewelry business. She is likely to be seen in some talk show or Jewelry Brand Company’s advertisement soon.
What about other accomplies of Vasilieva? Irina Yegorova got 3 years, Larisa Yegorina – 4,3, Maksim Zakutaylo – 3,5, Yuri Grekhnev – 4 years. They all serve their sentences in colonies. Some of them requested a parole, but their requests were rejected under excuse that they «improved insufficiently». Though Irina Yegorova, who has suffered from exacerbation of cholelithiasis and underwent a surgery expected a hearing over a parole for her in April. But it seems that she will stay in colony.
Maksim Zakutaylo’s wife – Ekaterina Smetanova, who, according to investigation, was selling the Ministry of Defense’s property, was the luckiest of them. Right after the detention, Smetanova concluded a play deal, witnessed against her accomplices and was taken under governmental protection. This year Smetanova was under suspended sentence, she got 4 years suspended and penalty of over 6,5 million rubles.
The release on parole of Evgenia Vasilieva provoked social criticism. Former Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Ella Pamfilova called this decision discrediting the judicial and law-enforcement system and the people’s faith into justice. The Public Chamber of the Russian Federation requested the Supreme Court and the Investigative Committee to check activities of the judge, who has issued the decree. However all this loud claims did not have any influence on the main figurants, while second-rate targets of the case bear the whole detention’s burden.
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.