Murder of defendant in billionaire Mikhalchenko case will complicate proceedings
The sudden passing of businessman Ilya Pichko will complicate the proceedings in oligarch Dmitry Mikhalchenko case. Now the court will have to make do with Ilya Pichko’s written statements. And this may greatly worsen the situation of some defendants.
The Basmanny Court was notified things were not OK with Ilya Pichko on last Monday, December 11. The businessman’s lawyer passed the information from the defendant’s relatives, who said he was seriously ill and was hospitalized. The nature of his illness was not clear. Actually, Pichko was already dead by then.
Both relatives and the defense were suspicions that something bad had happened, but they provided the court with the aforementioned version to avoid having his preventive measure charged to arrest or having him placed on the wanted list, which would have prevented the investigation from investigating the circumstances of his disappearance.
Today, it became known that Ilya Pichko, released on bail, was murdered on December 8 on Yakornaya Street in St. Petersburg. As reported today by the ICR Main Investigations Directorate in St. Petersburg, the businessman was strangled by a furniture assembler during a conflict over the performance of work. The worker was missing the deadline for assembling furniture in Pichko’s apartment. After killing the entrepreneur, the perpetrator hid his body in the woods in the Vyborgsky district, Leningrad region.
It has become clear that the tragic circumstances will add to the complexity of the proceedings. As soon as the lawyer brings the certificate of death to the Basmanny Court, the judge will issue a decree on terminating the prosecution of Ilya Pichko. But the testimony given by the businessman during the investigation will be announced at the trial as evidence. New questioning for Ilya Pichko was scheduled for the next hearing. This, in turn, will significantly worsen the situation with Boris Korevsky, as most of Pichko’s indications concerned him. According to the defense, part of these indications were indirect in the part of proving Koresevsky's guilt. If the businessman was alive, the defense would clarify these points at the hearing. But it is no longer possible.
According to the CrimeRussia’s source informed of progress in the investigation, the whole story concerning Ilya Pichko’s death looks very strange, given that the trial of the oligarch and his accomplices has just begun, and the circumstances of death are very reminiscent the detectives by Agatha Christie, where a gardener is usually the murderer. It is too early to make far-reaching conclusions, but these strange events surrounding the story raise some flags.
To recall, Dmitry Mikhalchenko, Ilya Pichko, billionaire’s assistant Boris Korevsky, and sommelier Aleksey Mishchenko are charged with alcohol smuggling as part of an organized group (Art. 200.2 of the Russian Criminal Code). In June 2016, Ilya Pichko was released on bail for the pre-trial detention center at the investigation's request. The CrimeRussia reported that Ilya Pichko had given investigators testimony incriminating both himself and other defendants in the case.