Lawyer Budantsev accused of double murder on Rodchelskaya may face additional charges 

Lawyer Budantsev accused of double murder on Rodchelskaya may face additional charges
Eduard Budantsev

Once the criminal case of the bloody shootout on Rochdelskaya Street is transferred to the ICR chief specialist on terrorism, Major General Krivorotov, the main defendant, Eduard Budantsev, may face graver charges.

New episodes may emerge in the high-profile case of a shootout at the Elements restaurant in Moscow that happened in December 2015 between henchmen of the notorious kingpin Shakro Molodoy and lawyer Eduard Budantsev.

Currently, the investigation is establishing the true motive of the double murder, a detail of particular importance for the court, which will assess Budantsev’s actions under the serious Art. 105 of the Criminal Code.

"Halt right there! I don’t need no tussle!"

According to the testimony of a witness from Budantsev’s employees, the shootout started after their boss had a conflict with one of the people who arrived with Italianets, another mobster representing the interests of the designer Fatima Misikova in her financial dispute with the owner of the restaurant Jeanne Kim. Italianets, also known as Andrey Kochuykov, represented Shakro Molodoy.

Previously, the majority of witnesses from Budantsev reported that the lawyer had arrived at the Elements restaurant with three members of his legal company Diktatura Zakona (Dictatorship of the Law) at the request of the owner Jeanne Kim to prevent a raider attack. There they met several dozen private security agents, which worked for Zakhar Kalashov, who were armed with traumatic weapons and immediately began to beat up the lawyer. Budantsev claims he was forced to open fire from his award military weapon to protect his life.

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Andrey Kochuykov

However, according to the testimony of a participant in the events from Diktatura Zakona, the shootout was provoked not by negotiations for the recollection of Kim’s debt before Misikova, but "sudden personal hostility" that arose between the two participants. The witness believes that they were not even discussing financial matters.

The witness claims that the security guard of Andrey Kochuykov, who was present at the talks, Alexey Kitaev refused to let Eduard Budantsev, who arrived after everyone else, in the hall. After the fight at the entrance, the participants pulled their weapons (one was military, the other — traumatic) and went to the summer terrace of the restaurant.

Witnesses go on saying that Italianets shouted "Halt! I don’t need no tussle here!", but was unable to prevent the bloodshed. As a result, two of Shakro Molodoy’s people were killed and one of Budantsev’s employees accidentally injured by his colleague. It should be noted that this version contradicts the testimony of Budantsev and his staff about the murder of Shakro Molodoy’s people and can be used for bringing in graver charges.

The media outlet reports that following this testimony, Budantsev underwent a comprehensive forensic psychological and psychiatric examination in the Serbsky Institute. Doctors are going to soon provide the medical report on Budantsev’s mental health. In particular, the examination shall establish if the lawyer acted dispassionately or began to shoot to kill in the heat.

Lawyer Kostenko’s case

Investigators have also started checking other criminal cases involving Budantsev.

As part of the investigations, they withdrew materials from the ICR Main Investigative Department Unit 2 on the investigation of economic and official crimes in Moscow regarding the incident at the office of Diktatura Zakona in 2013.

One of the company’s lawyers, Ivan Kostenko took an advance of $ 150,000 from a Rostov businessman for the settlement of a commercial dispute with Russian Railways, but failed to fulfill the contractual obligations. When the businessman turned to the company’s director Budantsev, employees and their boss locked Kostenko in the office premises, beat him and forced to write IOU for $ 250 thousand, adding a ‘fine’ to the amount of the advance.

The incident served as the basis for several criminal cases, but the most important of them, Swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code) against lawyer Kostenko, was subsequently shut down, for investigators believed that his actions did not constitute a crime. Senior Investigator Krivorotov has already taken Kostenko’s cases of Minor Harm to Health (Art. 115 of the Criminal Code), Extortion money from him (Art. 163 of the Criminal Code), and Illegal Deprivation of Liberty (Art. 127 of the Criminal Code). If Budantsev’s involvement is proved, all the criminal cases against him will be combined into one and handed over to the court together with the case of the double murder.

At Bastrykin’s order

Kommersant believes the investigation has intensified after the case was transferred to Senior Investigator under the ICR Head, Major General of Justice Konstantin Krivorotov. The order must have been given by ICR Chairman Alexander Bastrykin. The media outlet reports that the case has advanced drastically under General Krivorotov’s control, after a year of smoldering investigation in the ICR Main Investigative Department in Moscow.

Sources of the media outlet call General Krivorotov Russia’s best expert on terrorist attacks. Previously, Krivorotov served in the Prosecutor General's Investigative Department for the Southern Federal District and was investigating terrorism-related high-profile cases in the North Caucasus, in particular, the case of the attack on Ingushetia by militias in 2004 and the terrorist attack in Beslan. While working in the ICR Central Board, Major General Krivorotov was investigating the terrorist attack on board the Russian airliner A321 flying from Egypt in October 2015. Experts believe that the transfer of the shootout case will ensure professional and prompt trial.

The shootout at the Elements restaurant on Rochdelskaya Street in Moscow took place on December 14, 2015, and provoked a number of related criminal cases. According to the case materials, crowned thief Zakhar Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy) sent his associate Andrey Kochuykov to recover 8 million rubles from the Elements owner Jeanne Kim. Allegedly, Kim owed them to a designer Fatima Misikova for her reconstruction works at the premises. Kim turned for protection to a former KGB officer and ex-commander of Rapid Deployment Task Force (SOBR) in Moscow, Eduard Budantsev, who had recently worked as director of the Diktatura Zakona legal firm. Negotiations quickly escalated into an armed conflict, with two of Kalashov’s people killed, since they were armed only with traumatic weapons. Budantsev opened fire on them from an award service pistol. On December 18, 2015, at the request of the ICR Main Investigative Department in Moscow, Presnensky Court of Moscow placed the ex-KGB officer under house arrest for the Murder of two or more persons (part 2 of Art. 105 of the Criminal Code), but in August 2016, he was released under on his own recognizance. Italianets stands accused of hooliganism and remains in a pre-trial detention center since last December.

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Zakhary Kalashov

Later, the story of the shootout at the restaurant turned into criminal prosecution against Shakro Molodoy and high-ranking ICR employees Denis Nikandrov, Mikhail Maksimenko, and Alexander Lamonov. Investigators believe that the officers received a bribe from the kingpin for the release of Italianets from custody by reclassifying charges to a milder article. They also have suspicions that the accused repeatedly covered for Kalashov.

In addition, a few MIA officials are now under investigation on charges of abuse of office and negligence — Denis Romashkin, Ildar Shakirov, and Renat Zinnatulin. They could have prevented the fatal consequences of the incident, but chose not to. 

Video: shootout on Rodchelskaya Street. Full version.

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