Investigative Committee General extortion case against former Deputy Presidential Envoy and Novye kolesa chief editor goes to trial
The Supreme Court concluded Datsyshin may influence the trial in Kaliningrad due to his former position.
Moscow District Court of St.Petersburg will consider the criminal case related to extortion (article 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) of $50 thousand from the Investigative Committee of Russia Lieutenant General Viktor Ledenev. The defendants in the case are a former Deputy Presidential Envoy in the Northwestern Federal District and a former Novye kolesa chief editor Igor Rudnikov, reports Fontanka.ru.
The prosecution theory is that the defendants in the case arranged extortion from Ledenev who had been angry with Novye kolesa articles dedicated to him and his material wealth. The General allegedly tried to bribe himself free to get rid off stories dishonoring him.
In spring and summer, 2017, Novye kolesa published a series of articles dedicated to him and his property. According to the prosecution theory, Datsyshin told Rudnikov that Ledenev was a martyr to the articles that say he has ties to ambiguous persons and many negative traits of character, and is unqualified. The public disclosure of it all could allegedly cause the General’s dismiss.
Negotiations on the transferring of the amount were in progress during 2 and a half months, from August to November, 2017. Rudnikov claimed that Ledenev give him money through Datsyshin who was allegedly willing to be the intermediary. The meeting took place in Datsyshin’s office in the shopping and recreation center Europe, at the drama theatre, in Ledenev’s office, and in the cafe ProSushi.
On November 1, Ledenev handed over the envelope with the marked cash inside to a co-founder of Novye kolesa Berezovskaya. The woman was detained, and the searches were carried out in the newspaper’s office. Rudnikov was arrested. Datsyshin was placed under house arrest. The former official was accused of collusion. The investigation theory is that he altruistically helped in the extortion. All money was supposed to go to Rudnikov.
The case files of the former reporter and former Deputy Presidential Envoy were forwarded to the District Court in Kaliningrad. However, the suability question was raised there. The Supreme Court concluded there was no way to consider the case dispassionately in the region, due to the fact that Datsyshin used to hold interviews with local potential judges, and Novye kolesa had repeatedly reported about the community of judges in Kaliningrad. The case was forwarded to St.Petersburg.
Aleksander Datsyshin was the Deputy Presidential Envoy in the Northwestern Federal District from March, 2006, to November, 2012. Viktor Ledenev has been the head of the directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia in Kaliningrad region since 2013. He had worked for the Federal Security Service before 2008. Then, he became the head of Investigative Committee of Russia in Chechnya.
Seventeen Russian Governors are facing criminal prosecution for bribe-taking. The rest of them may be jailed any time for exceedance of official powers. At least, Nezygar (@russica2) Telegram channel claims so citing an unidentified source in the law enforcement structures. However, according to that source, it is currently prohibited to prosecute top-level officials. In 2018, the operatives had only searched offices of Vice Governors or Deputy Ministers – not their bosses. The CrimeRussia found out what supreme functionaries are on the hook of the law enforcement authorities and may be immediately indicted if the President orders so.