Persons convicted of abducting Lukoil Vice President and murdering Vinokur turn out to be innocent?
There appeared facts in the case of the 2000's indicating the innocence of convicts, who have been imprisoned for 14 years.
The Smolensk Regional Court resumed hearings on the case of the abduction of LUKOIL Vice President Sergey Kukura and the murder of criminal 'authority' Vladimir Vinokurov (Vinokur), Rosbalt reports.
In 2005 residents of the Smolensk region Igor Ryabokon and Yuri Statsenko were convicted of this crime, and received 20 and 19 years in prison respectively.
In 2002, according to investigators, a number of high-ranking officials of the Smolensk region turned to Vinokurov for help in resolving a financial dispute between them and LUKOIL, that ostensibly owed them about $5 million. The 'authority' decided to kidnap Kukura and squeeze the debt out of him. The executors were Vinokur's henchmen – Statsenko (Stets) and Ryabokon (Garris).
Igor Ryabokon and Yuri Statsenko
In September 2002, six masked and armed militants stopped a car with Kukura, his driver and guard in the village of Vnukovo. All of them were injected with morphine. Then the bodyguard and the driver were dropped in the forest, and Kukura was put in a Volga and, after having changed several cars, the bandits brought him to the village of Shabel of Khislavichevsky district of the Smolensk region. There Ryabokon demanded from him already 10 million dollars, half of which was supposed to go personally to the bandits. The money was to be brought by three-time convicted Gennady Bogomolov, who headed one of the subsidiaries of oil company Lukoil-Market. To show that their intentions were adamant, he was given a video recording of the kidnapped Kukura. During the negotiations with Bogomolov, the sum of ransom was shrinked to 3 million euros and 3 million dollars, but the parties could not agree on how the exchange procedure would take place. As a result, Ryabokon told Kukura that no one would give money for him. In response, the oilman promised to give already personal 1.3 million dollars. After this, the kidnappers released him so that he could collect the money.
In turn, Vinokurov did not believe that Kukura was released just like that and thought that Stetsenko and Ryabokon appropriated the money and decided to eliminate them, but they anticipated this and shot him in a car together with the driver in October 2002.
In 2003 law enforcement officers detained Statsenko, after a while Ryabokon was caught, too.
At the first trial the defendants were fully acquitted in the kidnapping case, but were found guilty of the murder.
The whole accusation was based on the testimony of some secret witness – he even appeared in the mask in the court so that the accused could not identify him – who told that he personally saw how Ryabokon and Statsenko had dealt with Vinokur. The defense of the accused then pointed to multiple mistakes and inconsistencies in the testimony of this witness, but the court was fully satisfied with his words.
However, in 2012, Roman Pinchukov came to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and acknowledged his guilt, stating that he was the witness and all his testimonies in this case were false. According to him, in 2003 he was bribed by well-known lawyer in the region Vadim Prokopovich, who instructed him how to speak in court and against whom to testify. As Pinchukov wrote in his statement addressed to Head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrykin, it was explained to him that his testimony would only be an additional confirmation to a number of indisputable proofs. However, at the trial Pinchukov's testimony became key one.
A car with Prokopovich himself was blown up in Smolensk in 2009.
Pinchukov's voluntary surrender was taken into account only after the interference of the Prosecutor General's Office, which appealed to the Supreme Court with a complaint about the sentence of ten years ago "in connection with newly discovered circumstances". In late 2016, the conviction was quashed, and the materials were sent for reconsideration to the Smolensk Regional Court.
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