Court in high-profile case of embezzlement at Bank of Moscow begins in absentia: UK does not extradite fugitives
With the help of three accomplices, Andrey Borodin and Dmitry Akulinin stole 14.5 billion rubles ($229mln) in 2008–2011.
In the Meshchansky Court of Moscow, hearings began on the scandalous case of multi-billion embezzlement at the Bank of Moscow. The first meeting took place on Friday, June 21. According to the investigators, the ex-managers of the bank Andrey Borodin and Dmitry Akulinin, using the help of three associate experts, organized the theft of more than 14.5 billion rubles ($229 mln). All five defendants fled abroad, and they are tried in absentia. However, their interests in court are represented by lawyers appointed by the court.
Last Friday, Judge Elena Karakeshisheva held the first meeting, at which a representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office presented all the details of the indictment. According to him, in 2008-2011, five criminals as part of an organized criminal group committed three embezzlements of money from the Bank of Moscow for a total of 14.5 billion rubles ($229 mln).
The next meeting will be held on July 5, until that time, as part of the judicial investigation, the study of written evidence collected by those who conducted this case will begin.
Earlier, Great Britain, where Borodin and Akulinin were hiding, gave them the status of political refugees, and then refused to extradite them at the request of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office.
It should be noted that the appointed by the court lawyers admitted that they had never been in contact with their clients in any form.
The investigation into the theft at the Bank of Moscow was launched in 2010. Soon the main suspects were ex-President Andrei Borodin and First Vice-President Dmitry Akulinin. In the summer of 2011, they hit the run, and their orientation was given to Interpol bases. According to investigators, the stolen money went to buy luxury real estate abroad.
Police detained several people from this criminal group. Caught senior trader of the directorate of foreign exchange operations of the Bank of Moscow Konstantin Salnikov and the former head of the banking operations support department Alla Averina, faced charges under Art. 160 of the Criminal Code (Misappropriation or Embezzlement). Later they were convicted. Svetlana Timonina, former head of the Premier Estate company, who was involved in the case, got a five-year term. It was through her company that the money was withdrawn. Later, the Russian authorities achieved the arrest of accounts and real estate of escaped criminals. Among the properties there is an old English castle worth more than $400 million.
Russians have been standing for their rights more aggressively since the controversial pension reform, worsened financial situation and social unrest against the background of the elections to the Moscow City Duma.