Case of Kamenshchik terminated by request from Prosecutor General’s Office

Case of Kamenshchik terminated by request from Prosecutor General’s Office
Dmitry Kamenshchik

Details of termination of the criminal proceedings against Domodedovo Airport owner have come to light.

September 23, 2016, the Investigative Committee discontinued the criminal case against Dmitry Kamenshchik. The proceedings lasted 17 months. As it turned out, it was the Acting Prosecutor General of Russia Aleksandr Gutsan who put the Kamenshchik case, including three of his alleged accomplices, charged under part 3 of Art. 238 of the Russian Criminal Code (Fulfillment of Works or Rendering of Services which do not meet standards of safety and which have entailed by negligence the death of two or more persons), to rest by deeming illegal the criminal prosecution against the businessmen. This was reported by Kommersant.

In his decision to terminate the criminal proceedings, Deputy Head of the First Investigation Department of the ICR General Investigative Administration Sergey Vasilovsky once again outlined the evidence proving the guilt of the Airport’s top managers, and noted that July 1 this year, Acting Prosecutor General of Russia Aleksandr Gutsan had written an appeal to the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Aleksandr Bastrykin. In the document, the highest official of the Prosecutor's Office at the time required to eliminate the law infringements arisen in the course of investigation and discontinue the unlawful criminal proceedings against its defendants, namely, Director of Domodedovo Airport Dmitry Kamenshchik, Head of the Russian representative office of Airport Management Company Limited Svetlana Trishina, former Director of Domodedovo Airport Vyacheslav Nekrasov, and Managing Director of Domodedovo airport aviation security CJSC (DAAS CJSC) Andrey Danilov. In his request, the acting prosecutor general noted that transport security cannot be regarded as transport service, while the socially dangerous consequences under Art. 238 of the Russian Criminal Code (namely, the death of 37 people and injury to health of 170 more people), reportedly attributable to the case defendants, occurred due to the actions of the suicide bomber and his accomplices, who have already been convicted.

At the same time, according to Kommersant, as much as two dozen sheets of investigator’s resolution was devoted to the evidence of the defendants’ guilt. Thus, ICR did not agree with the opinion of the Prosecutor General’s Office, but there was nothing it could do. Under the current legislation (part 6 of Art. 37 of the Criminal Procedure Code), the decision of the supervisory authority’s head is final and conclusive.

Previously, Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Malinovsky had repeatedly demanded the Investigative Committee to terminate the criminal proceedings, but to no avail. On July 1, 2016, Presidium of the Moscow City Court acceded to Malinovsky’s request for Dmitry Kamenshchik’s release from house arrest.

It should be reminded, that January 24, 2011, a suicide bomber Magomed Evloev carried a bomb into the territory of Domodedovo Airport and committed a terrorist attack. According to the testimony of his accomplice Islam Yandiev, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment, before committing the terrorist act, he had come to the airport to scout out the situation. Yandiev entered the airport building through the entrance No.3, bypassing the metal detector on the left. He noted that all the passengers did the same thing, and no one obliged them to pass through the arche. Then Yandiev freely reached the end of the hall in search of crowded places. He left the airport building through the same entrance bypassing the metal detection arche. In his testimony, Yandiev expressed the opinion that if Magomed Evloev had been checked at the entrance, he would have still detonated the device strapped to his body, however, only two or three people would have died in this case.

According to investigation, it is East line aviation security CJSC (later renamed to DAAS CJSC) who had been initially responsible for aviation security at the Domodedovo Airport. In October 2007, Andrey Danilov was appointed the company manager. In December the same year, “Screening technology at the entrances to airport building complex” was introduced at the Domodedovo, stipulating that luggage and personal items of people entering the airport building would be inspected by means of fixed and hand-held metal detectors and X-ray introscopes; law enforcement officers were sometimes engaged in the inspection.

However, a new screening technology was introduced at the airport in May 2010, which significantly reduced the time of passengers’ entrance to the airport, but increased the likelihood of carrying a bomb into the building. Former Chief of Linear Department of Internal Affairs at the Domodedovo Airport Aleksandr Trushanin approved the innovation and ensured that the concept of “random inspection” was included in the screening technology. According to witnesses, after introduction of the new technology, aviation security officers began working exclusively on introscopes, checking the belongings of passengers and carry-on baggage. While police officers applied metal detectors only to those passengers, who aroused suspicion. Officers of the Linear Department of Internal Affairs conducted preventive conversations with passengers from the Caucasus and the Arab countries, guided by their feeling. During interrogation, officers of the Linear Department of Internal Affairs told investigators that at such system they could only check 1-2 persons out of 10 airport visitors.

According to lawyers, who reviewed the decision of Investigator Vasilovsky, he seemed to suggest by his text that he does not agree with the Prosecutor General’s Office demanding an end to criminal prosecution of the businessmen. However, under the law, the investigation is obliged to submit to the supervisory authority’s request. Thus, the case defendants’ right to rehabilitation has been recognized, and their written undertaking not to leave the place has been abolished.

Let us note that none of the defendants in the high-profile case have pleaded guilty.

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