Unwomanly shrewdness: Ekaterina Gilina is looking forward to taking charge of St. Petersburg Main Investigations Directorate
Almost six months have passed since the appointment of notorious Ekaterina Gilina, former Acting Head of the Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) in the Novgorod Region, a Deputy Head of the Main Investigations Directorate of the ICR in St. Petersburg. The female general was not spotted in new scandals during this period, but the CrimeRussia managed to obtain several illustrative episodes from her stormy biography, including real estate scam, attempted pressure on investigation, and even friendly assistance to infamous ‘peeing Colonel’.
Ekaterina Genrikovna Gilina had served a half of her career in the Primorsky district of St. Petersburg. During that period, she was reportedly involved into some uneasy and pretty interesting situations. For example, in 2001–2004, some Lyubov Poloskova, Inspector of the Operational and Search Department, was actively searching in the Primorsky district for an elderly lady who had allegedly gone missing. The lady was found alive and in relatively good health. And then, as of a sudden, inspector Poloskova became a heiress to the granny’s apartment: being in hospital, the elderly pensioner has formalized a nominative will in her favor. Interestingly, the signatory signing the papers on behalf of the feeble old lady was one of the commanders of the same Operational and Search Department – some Kirill Likhomanov. It is necessary to note that the criminal case instituted later includes a doctor’s assessment of the lady’s condition on the day when the will was signed: “The patient is somnolent, non-contact, does not react to the examination”.
Then the lady was released from the hospital. The local Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation became aware of that story: relatives of the old lady, being in good health and right mind, were not willing to donate anything from their legacy to the police. The Department for Combating Organized Crime has performed an inquest, identified elements of swindling, and submitted the report to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Primorsky District. The report had fallen into the hands of Ekaterina Gilina, then-Deputy Prosecutor for Investigation. Needless to say that the police materials did not result in a criminal case – while the old lady died some time later.
The most recent thrilling story involving Ekaterina Gilina has started in September 2016. In December, her subordinates submitted an 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. In their letter, the investigators had complained on illegal institution of framed-up criminal cases, despotism, and manipulations with attestations, appointments, and re-attestations. In addition, the officers have reported ‘levies’ introduced by her – Gilina was ‘milking’ her subordinates to collect enough money to pay fines imposed on her by Andrei Kikot, the Prosecutor of the Novgorod Region. In December 2016, Stanislav Belyansky from the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District has been appointed the new Acting Head of the Investigations Directorate in the Novgorod Region
Ekaterina Gilina was hastily appointed to a position created specifically for her – the 4th Deputy Head of the St. Petersburg Main Investigations Directorate; currently she is in charge of criminalistics there. Viktor Grin, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, has requested Alexander Bastrykin, the Chairman of the ICR, to institute a criminal case against her.
Viktor Grin, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
As said above, the biography of Ekaterina Genrikovna includes a number of interesting episodes that had ultimately resulted in her transfer to the Novgorod region. The events had occurred in the framework of a criminal case against the management of Udachny Vybor (Good Choice) real estate company. The investigation of that case was extended for the last time in 2014 and severed from the high-profile case pertaining to scams with apartments belonging to mentally ill persons committed by the management of Udachny Vybor jointly with a psychiatrist from the Skvortsov-Stepanov Mental Hospital. The outcome of that case remains unknown.
Defense for ‘peeing colonel’
This story is well-known not only in St. Petersburg – the video with Vladimir Kretsu, Head of the MIA Administration for the Primorsky District of St. Petersburg, relieving himself in public hit the headlines and was shown by all TV channels. The MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region was never involved into such a scandal before. In 2009, eyewitnesses have provided to Fontanka.ru a video record from a security camera showing the Head of the MIA Administration for the Primorsky District of St. Petersburg during a revelry in Gin-no Taki restaurant located on Savushkina street. On the video, the ‘peeing colonel’ is not trying to conceal that he is a police officer and pulls from his trousers a police certificate as well while other people are trying to calm him down. On the next day, the video went viral on the Internet, and Vladimir Kretsu submitted a resignation letter. Too bad, but it turned out that the ‘peeing Colonel’ had committed sins worse than relieving himself in an inappropriate place. For instance, after his resignation, an ugly story involving a group of hoodwinkers patronized by officers of the MIA Administration for the Primorsky District and paying ‘levies’ to them went public.
The Colonel’s biography also includes an episode pertaining to a real estate scam. In those far-off years, the MIA Administration of Internal Security had reported to the command three swindling episodes with state-owned apartments intended for police officers having no residences – but somehow sold to third parties. These materials were supposed to be handled by Gilina. She was reportedly waiting for the case file to help in a friendly way to Vladimir Kretsu – but at that time, she could not assist him because the Prosecutor’s Office of the City had immediately requested the materials for review. An order to submit the materials of the pre-investigation inquest for institution of a criminal case against Kretsu had been issued and signed by Andrei Kikot, the Deputy Prosecutor of the City. But this criminal case was never instituted as well. Sources in law enforcement structures tell behind the scenes that Gilina and Kretsu had made a joint trip to Alexander Klaus and Andrei Lavrenko, then-Head of the St. Petersburg Main Investigations Directorate. The request to institute a criminal case was denied “due to absence of elements of crime in the act”.
Another documented episode of ‘patronage’ extended by Gilina had occurred in the framework of the criminal case against lieutenant colonel Nikolai Ponkratov, Lead Investigator for Special Cases of the Administration for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption of the General MIA Administration.
In 2004, Nikolai Ponkratov and Senior Lieutenant Viktor Kostin, Investigator of the Administration for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption, were charged with exceeding official powers, illegal intrusion into a home, and willful destruction of property. The investigation believed that on May 6, 2004, Ponkratov and Kostin, under the pretence of questioning a witness, had broken into the residence of some Vener Galikeev and inflicted bodily harm to himself and his wife. Galikeev was a crucial witness in a swindling case – but he had refused to testify and ignored requests of the operatives. Finally, Ponkratov and Kostin have come to him. After their ‘visit’, Galikeev submitted a criminal complaint to the MIA General Administration for the Northwestern Federal District. A criminal case was initiated against the operatives, and the Primorsky District Court has found Ponkratov guilty. He was released from prison recently.
Ekaterina Gilina had actively assisted the disgraced lieutenant colonel. She consulted Ponkratov how to avoid criminal prosecution and make arrangements for the dismissal of the criminal case. The operative services supervising the case became aware of her consultations and presented the communication between Gilina and the suspect at a court session held to determine pretrial restrictions for Nikolai Ponkratov. These materials have convinced the court that the Lieutenant Colonel is trying to affect the investigation using his professional connections.
Now Ekaterina Gilina is actively using her own professional connections to avoid the prosecution. We already wrote that she does not make a secret that Alexander Bastrykin, Chairman of the ICR, personally supports her. The question is: why the supreme command is so loyal to Gilina? Some well-informed sources claim that infamous Igor Sobolevsky, former Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor’s Office dismissed with scandal in 2009, had also actively lobbied her interests. The media repeatedly wrote that his termination was directly linked with the special operation of the Spanish authorities codenamed “Troyka” and targeting members of ‘Malyshevskaya’ criminal group settled in Spain and money laundering channels created by them.
The CrimeRussia sources state that the current position of Gilina – Deputy Head of the Main Investigations Directorate in St. Petersburg of the ICR – does not meet her career expectations. The autocratic lady is looking forward to taking up the chair of Alexander Klaus. Apparently, her aspirations are a ‘widely known secret’. She poses a direct threat to Alexander Vladimirovich – Gilina had always used all means possible to achieve her goals and received awards and promotions in spite of everything. In fact, her current (and totally unexpected) appointment to a high post in St. Petersburg was preceded by another similar promotion. Prior to her transfer to the Novgorod region, a commission from Moscow had identified 40 missing criminal cases in the Primorsky district assigned to her. Any other investigator in such situation would be dismissed in disgrace – but Gilina received the Honorary ICR Serviceperson Badge and meritable promotion to the rank of colonel.
Alexander Klaus, Head of the Main Investigations Directorate in St. Petersburg of the ICR
Some sources believe that the suspicious silence around the inquest carried out by the Prosecutor General’s Office against Ekaterina Gilina is not accidental. All the investigation deadlines have already passed and technically this quietness may mean a refusal to institute the criminal case.