Ex-adviser to Roscosmos CEO re-accused of bribery in bid to release executive director

Ex-adviser to Roscosmos CEO re-accused of bribery in bid to release executive director
Vladimir Evdokimov

The lawyers accused of fraud asked Yuri Chaika to resume the trial against Valentina Rakitina, who had tried to free her husband for 80 million rubles ($1.3m).

Valentina Rakitina, the former adviser to the Roscosmos CEO might be held responsible for giving a bribe, of which she is accused in a letter to the Prosecutor General's Office by the defense lawyer of Alexander Malofeev, the attorney accused of fraudulent theft of 80 million rubles. Last April, Valentina Rakitina, the wife of Vladimir Evdokimov, the Roscosmos executive director for quality control, who was killed in detention center No. 5 last spring, was recognized a victim in a fraud case against Dionisy Zolotov and his lawyer Alexander Malofeev.

The charges against Zolotov and Malofeev were brought last April after Rakitina’s report. She stated that her husband had fallen victim to a scheme with 80 million rubles ($1.3m) demanded from him in exchange for milder punishment, a house arrest. The promises were never fulfilled. The investigation found that Zolotov and Malofeev had no say in the investigation against the Roscosmos top manager, and therefore they were charged with swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

The defense now argues that Rakitina cannot be considered the injured party since it was Evdokimov who initiated the bribery, and his wife must have had a very clear idea of what she was passing the money for.

Vladimir Evdokimov was detained in December 2016 accused of stealing 200 million rubles’ worth of property from JSC Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG. According to the case file, Evdokimov turned to his cellmate Dionisy Zolotov in the detention center No. 5 (Vodnik), asking him to pull strings so that the charges against him would be dropped and he would be placed under house arrest. Zolotov introduced Evdokimov to his lawyer, Malofeev. Rakitina testified that Evdokimov called her from jail in February 2017 asking to find 50 million rubles, and then another 30 million rubles.

Evdokimov's body was found in his cell on March 18, 2017, with stab wounds. After that, Rakitina filed a police statement about fraud.

On March 12, 2018, a criminal case was opened against Rakitina under part 4 of Art. 291. 1 of the Criminal Code (Mediation in bribery on an especially large scale). However, one of Yuri Chaika’s deputies canceled it sometime after this.

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