Criminal charges against lawyers of Uralmash gang dropped
Ekaterinburg District Court dropped criminal charges against the lawyers involved in the activities of the once-powerful Uralmash criminal group. According to investigators, the defendants were part of the so-called "legal wing" of the gang, which was supervised by a prominent businessman Vladislav Kostarev. The judge called the elapse of time the official reason for the termination of the investigation into a series of takeovers against more than a dozen companies. The defendants do not agree with the court's decision - their line of defense was intent on proving their complete innocence. Their lawyers promised to appeal the decision in a higher court.
The judge of the Kirov District Court of Yekaterinburg Ekaterina Kobyakova closed the criminal case against the last of the alleged participants in the so-called "legal wing" of the Uralmash criminal grouping - Olga Temlyakova and Tatyana Zhuravleva, Kommersant reported. The trial began in 2012. At that time, the defendants were graduates of the Ural Law Academy - Alexey Mishenin, Alexander Kolyasnikov, Andrey Tkachuk, Olga Rushitskaya, Olga Temlyakova, and Tatyana Zhuravleva. The investigation claims that those people, headed by a businessman Vladislav Kostarev, were preparing documents for illegal takeovers. Investigators believe that the Uralmash lawyers prepared raider attacks on Pervouralsk Plant of Complete Metallic Construction, Melkombinat, Artyomovsk Machine-building Plant Venkon, Salda Metallurgical Plant, and Bogdanovich Porcelain Factory.
According to investigators, the total damage from the perpetrators’ actions amounted to about 600 million rubles. They became defendants in the criminal cases under art. 210 of the Russian Criminal Code (participation in a criminal organization), art. 159 para. 4 of the Russian Criminal Code (fraud), art. 196 of the Russian Criminal Code (intentional bankruptcy), and art. 160 of the Russian Criminal Code (misappropriation or embezzlement). Only two of the six defendants in the case received prison sentences: Andrey Tkachuk received ten years, and Alexey Mishenin - eight years in prison. They were found guilty of embezzling 108.5 million rubles from Artyomovsk Machine-building Plant Venkon. The criminal case against Rushitskaya and Kolyasnikova was closed due to elapse of time. The case of Tatyana Zhuravleva and Olga Temlyakova was suspended due to their maternity leave, and returned to court only in April 2016.
As it became known yesterday, the criminal case against Zhuravleva and Temlyakova was closed due to elapse of time on charges of premeditated bankruptcy and fraud. The charges of involvement in a criminal organization were dropped at the insistence of the public prosecution, for lack of evidence.
The defense is going to appeal the judge's decision in a higher court - the Sverdlovsk Regional Court, seeking exoneration. Olga Temlyakova and Tatyana Zhuravleva refused to plead guilty in the alleged crimes.
In February 2016, the court sentenced the founding father of the Uralmash gang, former member of the Ekaterinburg City Duma Alexander Kukovyakin, to five years in prison. He was accused of embezzling 2.6 million rubles from Tavda Hydrolysis Plant, which led to the company’s bankruptcy.
As for the head of the Uralmash "legal wing" Vladislav Kostarev, in the spring of 2009 it was reported that he had drowned. Some theories suggest that the runaway businessman staged his own death to deal with the persecution.
The Uralmash gang was created by brothers Grigory and Konstantin Tsyganov in 1989 in Sverdlovsk (currently, Ekaterinburg). In the highly volatile 90s, it has become a powerful criminal organization, which took control of the city, and then the Sverdlovsk Region. After Grigory Tsyganov had been murdered and Konstantin Tsyganov had fled the country, Alexander Khabarov became the leader of Uralmash. During his reign, the criminal group tried to infiltrate the government. On the eve of the presidential election in 1996, Khabarov organized a workers' movement in support of Boris Yeltsin. In 1999, he registered Uralmash as a socio-political alliance, and three years later he became a State Duma member. Alexander Khabarov started facing problems in September 2004, when he set up a rally, at which he proclaimed the need to resist criminal elements from the Caucasus, which tried to enter the Middle Urals. In 2004, Alexander Khabarov was arrested and put in jail under art. 179 of the Russian Criminal Code (coercion to commit a transaction or refuse of its fulfillment). In 2005, Alexander Khabarov was found hanged in his cell (the official version was suicide). After Khabarov’s death, Uralmash ceased to exist. Now the gang’s founding fathers and their associates stand at the heart of the Yekaterinburg business empire. The current head of Yekaterinburg Yevgeny Roizman is also linked to the branched structure of the former gang, and now the city’s business elite.
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