Pichuga undertaking offensive
Some details of the speeches of Yuri Pichugin’s (Pichuga) defense and of his own one in the court, where the appeal for the decision of Syktyvkar City Court on imprisonment was considered, became known.
As it was known before, lawyer Alexander Vershinin insisted on the release of his client from custody because of illegal initiating of criminal proceedings against Pichugin. According to him, the accusation is based on ten protocols of interrogations of six secret witnesses. They say about the events that took place decades ago when Pichugin was not in Syktyvkar. Witnesses point to a certain community of which there is simply no data. "There is nothing more: no specifics – who is the victim of this crime, or what kind of crime is committed, which motives, who is involved", – Vershinin said.
He denoted the similarity of the decision to initiate a criminal case against Pichugin with the ruling in the case on Ifa-Kozlov group from Syktyvkar. It also serves as the only reason for considering Pichuga an accused person, not a suspect. The decision on the procedural status of the accused is still not connected to the case. And, consequently, there is no evidence of his involvement in the crimes. The case does not specify the crime scene, time, way of committing the crime and information about the victims.
"I asked the investigator in the court of first instance what specifically Pichugin is suspected of, in what components of the crime are. There was no answer", – said the lawyer.
The thief in law himself participated in the court session through a videoconference. He fully supported Vershinin and added that he did not understand why the witnesses did not testify against him earlier.
"I can draw only one conclusion: they were engaged in the criminal activity I am charged with. They write that they were repeatedly convicted, but they say everything from the words of the deceased. They did not become dead yesterday, which means that the witnesses knew about this two years ago. Why did not they give these testimonies earlier? Most likely they were caught on telephone fraud and other offenses and began to slander me. They either have nothing to say, or they were offered to say this", – Pichugin claimed.
He also noted that he had been living in Moscow for the last 17 years, and to Syktyvkar he only pays short visits.
According to the investigation, since 1994 the criminal group created by Pichugin has been engaged in business protection, embezzlement, robbery and swindling in Komi. In 2000, criminals began legalization of criminal proceeds through business (public catering, leisure and services, as well as passenger and cargo transportation and logging).
On February, 18 the thief in law was detained in Moscow and taken to Syktyvkar. Simultaneously other members of the criminal group were detained in different places. On February, 20 this year Syktyvkar City Court concluded Pichugin in custody for two months. Seven other alleged members of the criminal community were arrested together with him. Two defendants of the criminal case Makhach Azizov and Viktor Karpov were issued a federal wanted warrant.
The Supreme Court of the Komi Republic left the appeal without satisfaction having only reduced the term of imprisonment for one day.
The founder and president of the Izhevsk football club Gazovik-Gazprom, known today as Zenit-Izhevsk, and the oldest professional football player in Russia has been detained for 48 hours, until the lawyers provide documents confirming that the accused cannot be kept in a pre-trial detention center on medical grounds.