Witness in General Lopyrev’s case under public defense
FSB representatives told the court there had been threats addressed to one of the witnesses as well as to persons from his immediate circle coming from the accused.
A witness in the case of Gennady Lopyrev, the FSO Lieutenant General and the former Caucasus Protective Service Chief, has been taken under public defense. As reported by Kommersant, FSB's economic security service submitted a written report to the court during the hearing where the motion to extend Lopyrev’s custody was being considered. It said, among other things, that General Lopyrev should remain in custody, since there have been some threats addressed to one of the witnesses as well as to persons from his immediate circle coming from the accused. Therefore, the witness and his family members had to be taken under public defense.
The same document stated that Gennady Lopyrev might go abroad and abscond during the investigation, since his son Aleksandr is engaged in construction and sale business outside Russia. The general also "may have real estate abroad."
Despite the fact that, according to the defense, all of the FSB’s arguments were presumptive, the court extended Lopyrev's custody until April 23, 2017.
As we reported before, the Caucasus Protective Service Chief was detained on November 25, 2016 after an inspection initiated personally by FSO Chief Dmitry Kochnev. Lopyrev was charged under part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code (Bribe-Taking on an especially large scale).
He is charged with taking two bribes ($52.000 and $55.000) while signing state contracts to renovate the facilities of Federal Security Service in Sochi. Certain CEOs of construction companies issued credit cards with Sberbank and VTB in the names of their subordinates. $3.400 to $15.500 would come into the accounts monthly. The cards then were allegedly passed directly to Lopyrev. However, searches at General’s apartment revealed no bankcards. The amount of cash, however, varied from 3 million rubles ($51.600) to 1 billion rubles ($17m), according to various sources.
Gennady Lopyrev, the suspect with the highest rank, pleads not guilty.
Last week, the entire world has celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Internet. In the meantime, the Russian legislators have adopted new laws restricting the development of the Russian-speaking segment of the world wide web. The 'fake news' and 'internet insults' laws adopted under the pretext of protecting the society from manipulations and threat, including external ones, violate the Constitution and some federal laws in relation to the right to search for, obtain, and use information. Furthermore, the bill on ‘sovereign Internet’ passed in the first reading by the State Duma leads us directly to self-isolation.