Avraam Russo testifies against ex-owner of Cherkizon Telman Ismailov 

Avraam Russo testifies against ex-owner of Cherkizon Telman Ismailov
Telman Ismailov

The businessman’s partner, accused of beating and kidnapping the singer, has been detained.

Former Director General of Praga restaurant and shareholder of AST Holding, who used to own the Cherkizovsky market, Zaur Mardanov, was detained in Moscow the other day. He is suspected of beating and kidnapping the famous singer Avraam Russo in 2004. This is reported by Kommersant.

Siloviki raided Mardanov's home at 6 a.m. After that, investigators of the ICR Main Directorate for the Investigation of Especially Important Cases searched the businessman’s place of residence for several hours. Then Mardanov was taken to the ICR Main Investigations Directorate’s building on Tekhnichesky Lane, where he was shown a detention order in accordance with Art. 91 of the Russian Criminal Procedure Code (for a period of up to 48 hours) and then questioned as a suspect.

According to Kommersant's sources, the singer had applied with law enforcement bodies the other day. After that, on September 17, a criminal case was initiated. 

The investigation believes that it was the ex-owner of the Cherkizovsky market, Telman Ismailov, who ordered the crime. According to Russo, he was attacked by several people outside of his house, forced into a car, driven a few kilometers, and thrown on the street.

Авраам Руссо

Avraam Russo

Two years later, in 2006, there was another attack. Unknown people riddled his car with an automatic rifle on Burdenko Street in Moscow at night. The singer himself was behind the car's wheel; his bodyguard was sitting next to him. Russo was wounded in the thigh, lower leg, and lower back, but managed to accelerate and escape the gunfire.

The Khamovniki Interdistrict Prosecutor's Office initiated a criminal case of an Attempt at Murder (Art. 30 and 105 of the Russian Criminal Code) into the incident. The investigation considered several versions of what had happened, including personal enmity and a commercial conflict. 

As previously reported by The CrimeRussia, Russo explained it by the revenge of the businessman and a great friend of former Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, who, as some sources say, had invested 2.5 million dollars in his promotion, but at some point decided that money was wasted. According to our sources, in early September, the ICR renewed the investigation into the case of the 2006 attempt at the singer.

Some sources say that a confrontation between detained Mardanov and the claimant took place yesterday. Allegedly, the ICR is to apply to the Court with a motion to elect a preventive measure for Mardanov today. 

Preliminary version indicates that in late January 2004, Ismailov asked his nephew Zaur Mardanov to kidnap the singer. The latter agreed and attracted five more unidentified persons from his inner circle. According to the case, Ismailov himself distributed roles among the members of the crime group and exercised general leadership over it; also, he provided all accomplices with transport. The investigation believes that it was at the organizer’s suggestion that the singer had to be taken to the businessman’s country house in the Moscow region’s Aprelevka after being kidnapped.

In the evening of January 31, 2004, Ismailov invited the singer to have dinner at his restaurant Praga on the Arbat, where he and Mardanov attacked him, took away his cellphone, and beat him, causing “light bodily injury,” thus “suppressing his will to resist.” After that, the investigation believes, Ismailov demanded that the singer cancel all his concerts, conclude a contract with him, and continue to perform only for Ismailov and his guests. Then the singer was taken to Aprelevka, where he agreed to comply with all the kidnappers’ demands under pressure.

Ismailov’s defense rejects any accusations and wondered why Russo had filed the statement of abduction only 14 years later. In addition, Russo never told about his kidnapping to law enforcers, even when the 2006 attempt at him was being investigated, so he recalled it only now. 

To recall, former owner of the Cherkizovsky market Telman Ismailov is currently wanted on charges of committing other grave crimes, including the organization of murder of two businessmen in the Moscow region in May of 2016 (item ‘a’, ‘g’, ‘e’ part 2 of Art. 105 and part 3 of Art. 222 of the Russian Criminal Code). Two of his relatives (one of whom is also wanted’ the criminal case against the other is being considered by the Court) are defendants in this case. The oligarch himself is hiding in Montenegro.

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