Zakharchenko’s friend and alleged briber flees from Moscow prior to related searches and arrests
Security officers are looking for Anatoly Pshegornitsky, who supposedly gave the colonel 7 million rubles.
The FSB and investigators are looking for a businessman Anatoly Pshegornitsky. The investigation believes that it was he who gave the bribe to the former Head of the Department T of the General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption (GAESCC) Dmitry Zakharchenko in December 2015. According to the wiretapping, which was conducted by the FSB, the colonel received a bribe of 7 million USD at a meeting in the Kitchen Village restaurant. Meanwhile, Zakharchenko insists that Pshegornitsky is his good friend and no bribes were taken.
Security officers had wanted to speak with the ex-owner of a number of business assets in the energy and fuel industry Pshegornitsky about his relationship with the police even before Zakharchenko himself was arrested, a source in the security services told Life. However, the good friend refused to cooperate with the police and left Moscow.
"Operational activities into Dmitry Zakharchenko began on September 1, when the first orders were given to the law enforcers," the source explained to Life. "And on September 2, at 21.30, Anatoly Pshegornitsky took a plane ticket from Moscow to Pulkovo. This had happened just a couple of days before we were going to question him."
Apparently, someone warned the businessman about the impending FSB operation. Previously, the CrimeRussia reported that the FSB suspected members of the General Administration of Internal Security of warning Zakharchenko and his possible accomplices of the upcoming special operations.
Law enforcers believe that Pshegornitsky will not stay in St. Petersburg. Zakharchenko’s friend could leave the country by car across the border with Finland, and from there go to other countries.
At the moment, the investigation has not yet decided about Pshegornitsky’s role in Zakharchenko’s case. Even if he is a witness in the criminal case, he may be forced to appear for questioning, including by force — under escort.
"However, only a suspect or an accused may be legally put on the wanted list," a lawyer Sergey Knyazkin noted. He argues that if Pshegornitsky does not get in touch, including with relatives, he may be put on the wanted list as a missing person.
It is worth noting that Anatoly Pshegornitsky owned several companies from the electrical energy industry (Sibur-energo, Rusinzhiniring, Tekhnologika, and Energobalans-Severo-Zapad). Rusinzhiniring was probably the most notable of them, being a major contractor of the Federal Grid Company of the Unified Energy System PJSC, the state company that manages the national electricity network. However, their partnership turned into a court rivalry. Arbitration courts of Moscow are reviewing claims for hundreds of millions of rubles from the Federal Grid Company to Rusinzhiniring. Pshegornitsky had his business in the area that Dmitry Zakharchenko was in charge of as the Head of the GAESCC Department T — this agency is engaged in the fight against economic crime in the fuel and energy complex.
According to Life, Pshegornitsky lives in Moscow in an elite club house near the Kropotkinskaya metro station.
The Deputy Head of the GAESCC Department T, Dmitry Zakharchenko, was arrested on September 9 on suspicion of taking bribes on a considerable scale. Law enforcement officers found 120 million USD and 2 million EUR in his sister’s apartment, and 13 million rubles, 170 thousand USD and 5 million EUR in Zakharchenko’s car. Later, additional 300 million EUR were discovered on his father’s foreign bank accounts. Investigators believe that the money seized from the colonel's sister may be associated with the theft of 26 billion rubles from Nota-Bank. Zakharchenko is charged with abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and taking bribes. The defendant refused to plead guilty.
Rosfinmonitoring (Federal Financial Monitoring Service) analyzed the data of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers and discovered thousands of offshore companies through which the Russians laundered billions of rubles. Materials on deputies and governors were handed over to law enforcers.
A spokesperson of the Prosecutor's office said that the ECHR had not studied all the materials of the criminal case, so they were offered not to overturn the verdict, but to send the case for a new review in court.