Shakro Molodoy’s gang may stand trial for banditry instead of arbitrariness
The crowned thief and his associates may be judged under different article of the Criminal Code.
Prosecutors recommended the investigation to put forward heavier charges against participants of the shootout on Rochdelskaya Street. According to Kommersant, this opportunity was provided by the Supreme Court. Numerous expert evaluations in this case cannot allow it to be qualified exclusively as Extortion (Art. 163 of the Criminal Code).
First, the victims were mostly among extortionists — two of Kalashov’s people were killed in a shootout at the Elements restaurant on December 14, 2015. Second, the evidence provided by direct participants, witnesses, as well as wiretapping intel and financial documents all contradict the original version of the investigators.
A group of Kalashov’s henchmen headed by his trusted kinpin Andrey Kochuykov (the Italian) arrived at Joanna Kim’s restaurant to demand 8 million rubles, which she had allegedly owed designer Fatima Misikova, who had decorated the restaurant. However, Kim was protected by a group of people led by former special services officer and currently a lawyer, Eduard Budanstev.
Andrey Kochuykov (the Italian)
A former member of Budantsev’s law office, Pyotr Cherchintsev said that the incident was just an economic dispute between two longtime friends. Especially since, according to financial documents provided by the parties, the owner of the restaurant owes the designer not 8, but 33 million rubles. Initially Kim wrote a statement about illegal actions against her, but later she minimized her help to the investigation, talking with investigators mostly through her lawyers.
The results of phonetic and linguistic expert evaluation of the few hours of negotiations that preceded the shootout also do not support the current theory. The participants are mostly speaking about the quality of work performed and the old debts between the businesswomen. Given the fact that the experts could not even clearly identify all the participants in the negotiations, they never came to unambiguous conclusions about its contents.
The defendants themselves deny any involvement in extortion. For instance, the former member of the MIA Department Combating Organized Crime, Colonel Yevgeny Surzhikov, who had arrived at the scene with the Italian, told the investigators that he and his subordinates simply "secured the perimeter" around the restaurant at the request of the customer. Another alleged extortionist, master builder Gerson Gamidov, said during the interrogation that he did not know Kochuykov and Kalashov, and arrived at the restaurant on that evening to receive 400 thousand rubles Kim owed him for construction works..
Thus, the case led for about a year by the MIA Investigative Department in Moscow could be reclassified to fit a soft article — Arbitrariness (Art. 330 of the Criminal Code). However, this would have entailed the collapse of the other two high-profile criminal cases. In particular, if Kalashov’s accomplices had been acquitted as extortionists, this would have automatically lifted the charges from the kingpin himself. He currently stands accused of Organizing a Criminal Group (Art. 210 of the Criminal Code). In addition, this would have messed with the meaning of Bribe-Taking charges (part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code) brought against members of ICR Main Investigative Department in Moscow — Nikandrov, Maksimenko, and Lamonov. According to investigation, the three senior law enforcers received a bribe for reclassifying the case and releasing the Italian.
Video: shootout on Rochdelskaya Street. Full version.
In this regard, the situation has recently been discussed at a meeting with the supervising prosecutor, Kommersant reported. At the same time, the option of replacing the extortion charges with arbitrariness has been rejected. According to a source of the media outlet, the Italian and his alleged accomplices are likely to be judged under more severe article, i.e. Banditry (Art. 209 of the Criminal Code.). It entails up to 15 years in prison. More so, since the law stipulates that any stable armed group that was created in order to "attack individuals or organizations" can be considered a gang. Besides, the creation of such a group is "considered completed crime" regardless of whether it had the time to carry out its plans or not.
In order to prevent the collapse of all the cases connected to the shooting at the restaurant and the detention of the Thief. No.1 and senior ICR officials, early next year they may all be combined and sent to the FSB Investigative Department, which so far has dealt only with the bribe-taking episode.