Donetsk People's Republic army ex-leader Goodwin tried in Moscow for raider attempt
Among his accomplices are a lawyer, who presented himself as the plenipotentiary of the self-proclaimed republic in the International Criminal Court with the United Nations, and an entrepreneur, already serving a sentence for attempting to seize a building.
The Meshchansky District Court of Moscow began judicial proceedings in the case targeting attempted raider seizure of the mansion on Gogolevsky Boulevard in the capital. Charges under Art. 30 and part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Attempted Swindling on an especially large scale) were brought against businessmen Dmitry Lysakovsky, Petr Chikhun and Mikhail Chernov, already serving time for the earlier attempt to take possession of the same building. He is additionally charged with Bribe-Giving (Art. 30 and 291 of the Criminal Code).
As reported by Kommersant, this is already the second group of ‘capturers’ of the elite building, located next to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. A few years ago, the same Mikhail Chernov, along with Mikhail Balakirev, made a raid attempt. To pull this off, the 'entrepreneurs' forged documents and tried to pass a bribe of $150.000 to a judge, who was to consider a claim for transfer of rights to the building, through their fellow judge of the Moscow Arbitration Court, Irina Baranova.
However, soon Chernov and Balakirev were detained and sentenced to seven years of colony each. Baranova, who, according to the investigation, was not going to transfer anybody the money received from Chernov, was charged with Complicity in Bribe-Giving and Swindling (part 4 of Art. 33 and Art. 291 of the Criminal Code, as well as Art. 159 of the Criminal Code). However, she managed to hide in the United States.
Later on, already being behind bars, Chernov made another attempt to seize the building. This time, according to the investigation, lawyers Dmitry Lysakovsky, his partner Petr Chikhun, lawyer from Nizhny Novgorod Evgeny Ryzhov and previously repeatedly convicted businessman Georgy Pirumov were involved in the transaction. They achieved arrest of the mansion through the Nizhny Novgorod court and resold it for $7.5 million to an offshore firm. But they did not have time to re-register the building. Fearing persecution, Lysakovsky fled to Donbass, where he headed the air reconnaissance unit of the army of the DNR, receiving the codename Goodwin. His accomplice Chikhun, in his own words, represented the DNR in the International Criminal Court at the United Nations. However, in the administration of the Head of the DNP, Alexander Zakharchenko, this information was later refuted. After returning from there in 2015, they were nabbed.
Another of their accomplices, lawyer Ryzhov managed to move to the United States. Pirumov concluded a pre-trial cooperation agreement, was convicted according to the special procedure and has already been released.
Now Lysakovsky and Chikhun drag out the proceedings in all possible ways, submitting numerous petitions. For example, they demand returning the case to the prosecutor or handing it over to another court, stopping criminal prosecution altogether, or at least excluding a number of evidence from the case. That said, the defendants demanded that they be released or put under house arrest. Lysakovsky, in particular, justified the need for his release, in part, by the fact that he planned to seek Russia's highest office. The defendants called their stay in the jail a torture, as well as the conditions of escorting and delivering to the court. For instance, they demanded that they be convoyed without handcuffs, and the escort guards be without dogs. Earlier, Lysakovsky demanded a meeting with Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika, insisted on instituting criminal proceedings against the investigator who was trying the swindling case, and even applied for support to the US ambassador to Russia. However, the court did not support all these claims - Judge Irina Akkuratova rejected all the petitions of the accused.