Aide to the President Kozhin interrogated in swindling case
On the eve of the annual call-in show with the president his aide appeared in court on the side of the prosecution in the case of Kvant-N.
The Ostankinsky District Court of Moscow held a closed trial on the case of swindling with shares of Kvant-N OJSC. It is noteworthy that, according to Kommersant, earlier the hearings were open, but yesterday journalists were not allowed into the hall and the reasons were not explained. As lawyers of the defendants suggested, this could be due to the appearance of the aide on military and technical cooperation and former Head of the Presidential Affairs Department, Vladimir Kozhin.
The dock featured former Director of Federal State Unitary Enterprise Center for Financial and Legal Support (CFPO) of the Presidential Affairs Department Nikolay Skrypnikov, his Deputy Alexander Vedin, ex-General Director of Kvant-N OJSC Andrey Grishin and his Deputy Anna Myagkova, as well as Temperans LLC Chief Stanislav Korenkov.
The criminal case under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (Swindling on an especially large scale) was initiated in June 2015 after representatives of Roskosmos, in whose jurisdiction Kvant-N was then, appealed to the law enforcement agencies.
According to the investigation, in 2011 the activities of Kvant-N, which had previously worked for the space industry, changed and the then Head of the Russian President's Administration Vladimir Kozhin appealed to the Federal Property Management Agency with a proposal to transfer the company to Center for Financial and Legal Support. One examination experts estimated 12 buildings on an area of 50 hectares at almost 749 million rubles ($12.9 m), the second – at 703 million rubles ($12.1 m). In April 2012 the shares of Kvanta were sold for 760 million rubles ($13.1 m) to Temperans LLC, headed by Stanislav Korenkov. At the same time, 40% of the share capital of this company was withdrawn to Cyprus, and the rest – to the Virgin Islands. According to prosecutors, the sale of property was carried out for 4 months without bidding, which was a violation of the law on privatization. The proceeds from the sale were not transferred to the budget, but, according to the order of the President's managers, 500 million rubles ($8.6 m) went to Federal State Independent Institution Rublevo-Uspensky.
Later, the investigators ordered several more assessments of the company's assets, the data of which were significantly different. The first examination estimated the market value of the company's shares at 4 billion 182 million rubles ($72.4 m). Then the damage was estimated at 3.5 billion rubles ($60.6 m). However, later, according to another estimate, Kvant's assets did not exceed 890 million rubles ($15.4 m). The third assessment, which the investigators took as the main one, determined the value of the shares at 1.76 billion rubles ($30.4 m).
In September 2015 the Moscow Arbitration Court recognized the real estate transaction as null and void, having obliged Temperans LLC to return the shares of Kvant. However, after the cassation appeal the case was sent for a new trial to the court of first instance.
The agreement to sell 100% of the shares of Kvant-N was concluded with the consent of Kozhin. However, he is currently a witness in the case.
As Kommersant reports referring to its sources, earlier Kozhin ignored the summons to the court and came only after one of the defendants' lawyers raised the issue of the possibility of his forced delivery to court at the last hearing.
According to various sources of the publication, the presidential aide spent from two to two and a half hours in the session hall.
Answering the question of the state prosecutor about how and on whose recommendation Nikolay Skrypnikov headed CFPO subordinate to the Presidential Affairs Department, Kozhin explained only that all the documents confirming the appointee's competence were presented and his professional suitability did not cause doubts. He also said that he was satisfied with his work and had no reason not to trust him. He learned that Skrypnikov created "some organized criminal group" from the media. He said all documents related to the preparation of the deal with the sale of Kvant-N shares were "approved in all interested organizations", including in the legal department of the President Affairs Administration. As noted by Kozhin, he did not go into the details of the transaction.