Son in law of former Minister of Defense Serdyukov is innocent

Son in law of former Minister of Defense Serdyukov is innocent
Valery Puzikov Photo: Evgeny Pavlenko / Kommersant

Valery Puzikov has been accused of spending money on renting cars that no one used.

The Arbitration Court of Moscow has dismissed a complaint of the Engineering and Technical Center of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation against its former Head Valery Puzikov, the son-in-law of ex-Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov.

The company tried to recover 23.6 million rubles ($406 thousand) from the former head. The FSUE employees say that Valery Puzikov and Valery Sedov, who became the director general after Puzikov, caused great damage to the enterprise.

According to the FSUE’s testimony, Puzikov had concluded contracts for the lease of cars with the companies TechCenter LLC and Avtoservis-MM LLC. Puzikov leased two Toyota Land Cruiser and a Mercedes-Benz GL 320 4 Matic for 70 thousand rubles ($1.2 thousand) per month, as well as a Porsche Cayenne Turbo for 110 thousand rubles ($1.89 thousand) per month, from TechCenter LLC. As for Avtoservis-MM LLC, it provided a Hummer and a BMW 760LI for 60 thousand rubles ($1 thousand) and 110 thousand rubles a month. In total, the cars cost the company 350 thousand rubles ($6 thousand) a month. Puzikov headed the enterprise for 6 months.

The FSUE representatives said that no one used the cars, and the rental companies were affiliated with Puzikov, therefore, the enterprise calls car lease transactions fictitious.

The following three years the FSUE was headed by Valery Sedov, who also leased cars from the same companies, this time at a discount. As before, the cars were not used, but the lease money was regularly paid. The plaintiffs also remembered to mention that Sedov granted himself a bonus of 2.6 million rubles ($44.7 thousand).

All this information was confirmed by the decision of the ICR Main Military Investigations Directorate investigator, who terminated the criminal prosecution of both ex-company executives a year ago.

Initially, they had been accused of appropriation and embezzlement, committed by a group of persons by previous concert on an especially large scale. But then, the case was reclassified as abuse of powers, which is a crime of moderate severity. As a result, the criminal prosecution of Puzikov was dismissed after the expiry of the statute of limitations, and Sedov was amnestied.

The Arbitration Court decided that the materials of the criminal case that had been terminated were not sufficient evidence of guilt. The investigator's decision is only a "judge's opinion," and it cannot be used as the basis for arbitration. Therefore, the court rejected the company's claim for damages. It is noted that the former defendants themselves recovered part of the money.

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