‘Lifeline’ for ICR General Ekaterina Gilina
The high-profile scandal around Ekaterina Gilina, the former Acting Head of the Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) in the Novgorod Region, is entering its final phase. Viktor Grin, the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, has submitted a statement to Alexander Bastrykin, the Chairman of the ICR, requesting to prosecute the autocratic female general. The reason for such a ‘crusade’ of the Prosecutor General’s Office was the letter sent by the rebelling personnel of the Investigations Directorate in the Novgorod Region to President Vladimir Putin and later published by the CrimeRussia. See further details in our material.
A thrilling story involving imperious manners of Ekaterina Gilina had started back in September 2016. In December, her confrontation with the subordinates has resulted in their open letter to President Vladimir Putin; Anton Vaino, the Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office; and Alexander Bastrykin, the Chairman of the ICR. By the end of December, the personnel of the Investigations Directorate in the Novgorod Region had expected a new boss to arrive; later Stanislav Belyansky from the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District–Yugra has been appointed the Acting Head of the Investigations Directorate.
In their letter, the rebelling investigators had complained on illegal institution of framed-up criminal cases, despotism, and manipulations with attestations, appointments, and re-attestations. As the CrimeRussia wrote earlier, under the rule of Gilina, criminal cases were often handled by people not employed officially with the Investigations Directorate in the Novgorod Region. Gilina did not care much about the presence of ‘ghost employees’ in the agency. However, a criminal case has been instituted against the female general not because of the above violations – but due to ‘levies’ introduced by her. In fact, Gilina was ‘milking’ her subordinates to collect enough money to pay fines imposed on her by Andrei Kikot, the Prosecutor of the Novgorod Region. According to CrimeRussia sources, the total amount of these ‘levies’ was 300 thousand rubles (over $5.000).
Andrei Kikot, the Prosecutor of the Novgorod Region
It is known that Andrei Kikot was struggling with the Acting Head of the Investigations Directorate in the Novgorod Region for the entire last year. The current requirement of the Prosecutor General’s Office to initiate a criminal case against Ekaterina Gilina under Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Exceeding Official Powers) is, in part, the result of this struggle. Apparently, the superior command have reviewed the materials collected by the Prosecutor’s Office of the Novgorod Region (in addition to the commonly known scandal details widely discussed in press) – and these materials likely were much more interesting than the letter written by desperate investigation officers. By the way, this is not the first attempt to indict Gilina criminally.
In 2011, Igor Gorbunov, the Senior Investigator of the Investigations Department of the Main Investigations Directorate in St. Petersburg of the Primorsky District, had forged a fake transcript of interrogation. Based on that transcript, one of the accomplices to a crime was illegally relieved from criminal liability. The episode occurred in the framework of a criminal case against the management of Udachny Vybor (Good Choice) real estate company that had committed, jointly with a psychiatrist from the Skvortsov-Stepanov Mental Hospital, machinations with apartments belonging to mentally ill persons. All suspects in this criminal case have been convicted and sentenced to prison terms. During the investigation, a version had been examined that Ekaterina Gilina could receive a bribe when she was the Head of the Investigations Department of the Primorsky District. But the probe against her got ‘stalled’ somewhere in the deeps of the law enforcement system. And then she was transferred to the Novgorod region.
Believe it or not, but Ekaterina Gilina managed to get out of the current delicate situation not only unscathed, but even with an award “For Diligent Service” and promotion. Following a directive of Alexander Bastrykin, a new job position has been created specially for her – the 4th Deputy of Alexander Klaus, Head of the St. Petersburg Main Investigations Directorate. Apparently, this appointment in the midst of the public scandal around Gilina was an unpleasant surprise for Klaus – but he has been confronted with a fait accompli.
Alexander Bastrykin, the Chairman of the ICR
Neither the Prosecutor General’s Office nor St. Petersburg law enforcement structures have doubts: the supreme command has thrown another ‘lifeline’ to Gilina. When her subordinates have revolted, she said that she is “in Bastrykin’s good books” and nothing could happen to her. The law enforcement authorities are still wondering whether the female general has outstanding service achievements or Bastrykin owes to her something?
Long before the current statement submitted by Viktor Grin, the ICR Chairman, had received results of numerous other probes mentioning the name of Gilina. But he had never taken any action against her. Just the opposite, at a teleconference in January 2017, Bastrykin said that he has “saved a woman”. The heads of regional investigations directorates immediately understood who was mentioned – although no names were pronounced. According to some sources, Ekaterina Gilina is the last member of the ‘clan’ of detained Mikhail Maksimenko close to Bastrykin. Sacrificing her to the Prosecutor General’s Office would weaken his own positions in the struggle against the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation. Of course, Bastrykin can not allow this.
Viktor Grin, the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
There is another version, however: Gilina was appointed to St. Petersburg – where no one supports her – to be able to get rid of her later. Apparently, the Prosecutor General’s Office has performed a multi-step combination to deprive Bastrykin of the freedom of maneuver. It would be more advantageous for the prosecutors to arrest with fanfare a Deputy Head of the St. Petersburg Main Investigations Directorate rather than a ‘fallen from grace’ female general. The key question now is: what would be the next move of the ICR supreme command?
The upcoming promotion of Andrei Kikot, the current Prosecutor of the Novgorod Region, to the post of the Deputy Prosecutor General in the Southern Federal District is another important indicator. Should this appointment be made, Kikot would become the youngest deputy of Yuri Chaika in the history. Is this a reward for his persistent struggle against Gilina? Apparently, this question would never get a straight answer.