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    16.05.2006  The trial of the second criminal case of Aleksey Pichugin starts | 16 May 2006

    Aleksey PichuginMay, 16: The trial of the second criminal case of Aleksey Pichugin in the Moscow municipal court started.

    After the Prosecutor Generals Office announced the letter of accusation, one of accused, Vladimir Shapiro, has requested a review of a case in camera. For this demand he gave the reason that there is a real threat to his personal safety and to the lives of those close to him. Here, Aleksey Pichugin, his defense and some other accused have objected to the demand of Shapiro. Such measure, in their opinion, would break the rights of defendants. Attorneys of Pichugin Kseniya Kostromina and Georgy Kaganer supported them and have called, in these circumstances, upon closing of only those hearings where Shapiro testifies.  Vladimir Usov, presiding, has recognized their arguments and agreed to allow Shapiro to give evidence without the presence of non-participants, thus having satisfied Shapiros petition only partially.

    Then the word has been given to complainants.

    Dmitry Korneyev, husband of Valentina Korneeva, former director of „Phoenix“ Moscow Company, was the first who gave evidence. According to the testimony of this witness, in 1998 his wife has been shot on a staircase of their house by Vladimir Shapiro. Coming out of the lift at his floor, Dmitriy Korneev, having taken a note of an unknown person standing half-sideways, began unlocking the door. At that moment, a bang resounded behind him. Turning round, he saw his wife slumping to the floor and a pistol pointed at him by the stranger. Korneev made a step towards a man with a pistol, but a stranger threatening with a pistol, stepped backwards into the lift and was away.

    Vladimir Shapiro, whose testimony is heard later on, doesnt deny the fact of this murder. 

    It should be noted, that the data presented in the letter of accusation of the Prosecutor of Generals Office contradicts the Korneyevs description of the tragic incident. The Public Prosecutor has read the statement as if Shapiro has shot at Korneev also, attempting to get rid of unnecessary witness, but there was a misfire.

    It ought to be remarked, that if to compare the assumptions of Dmitry Korneev that he made at various times of possible causes of murder, there are evident differences.

    Earlier the complainant (he worked in the company of his wife as a driver) put forward the version that there was a connection between a committed crime and lawsuit among co-founders of „Phoenix"  Valentina Korneeva and a certain Tarahtelyuk. Tarahtelyuk has received credit at bank on the security of his share in «Phoenix» and has invested money in „MMM“ company.  When «» went bankrupt Tarahtelyuk had problems to get clear of debts. Nevertheless, later on, he has found funds to pay off. After that incident, Valentina Korneeva began to demand from Tarahtelyuk to sell his share in «Phoenix» to her. However, Tarahtelyuk definitely refused, subsequently, it led to lawsuit, which, in Dmitry Korneev’s opinion, could become a motive for murder.

    Meanwhile the state accuser introduced another version: Korneeva has refused to transfer or to sale to bank „MENATEP“ a premise belonging to her in the center of Moscow. Dmitry Korneyev has changed his opinion on the motive of murder, having recognized the version of state accuser as the only true.

    The next complainant, who testified, was the former business manager of „Rosprom“. Victor Kolesov recalled that on the 5 of October, 1988, near his house he stood an assault from two unknown men. The attackers grabbed Kolesovs briefcase, containing the gas pistol and $2.0 thousand, then they beat him up, after this Kolesnikov lost consciousness. Having regained consciousness, he was roused by passer by, but the criminals disappeared.

    On what basis the state accuser has drawn a conclusion on the necessity to include abovementioned incident in Aleksey Pichugin’s case, is not clear. According to advocate Ksenia Kostromina, the Moscow municipal court has not revealed any connection between Pitchugin and an attack on Kolesov, at consideration of the previous criminal case of her client. 

    The last episodes examined in the court were two attempts upon of the life of Evgeny Ribin.

    The businessman and his security guard Aleksey Ivanov, employed under recommendation of the Solicitor-General Kolesnikov, gave the evidence.

    The first attack occurred in autumn of 1998, in Moscow, in Udaltcova street, 30, where accused Reshetnikov, according to Ribin, has shot at him. The second attempt occurred in 1999 at the Moscow Region. The businessmans car with a driver and security on the way to the house (Ribin himself was at the birthday of his nephew) was exploded. As a consequence of this explosion, the driver is dead, Alexey Ivanov was seriously wounded.

    All these incidents both Ribin and Ivanov parallel with court actions on covering the damage, as though caused by the activity of  UKOS company, which were issued by the businessman to oil company. Ribin names Aleksey Pichugin the head for the crime, although the reasons for this that he states have little force and sound unconvincing.  Ribin saw Pichugin himself only one time in his office during business negotiations with UKOS. Moreover, the fact that the person described by Ribin is just Pitchugin, raises doubts, as the appearance of described person has nothing in common with appearance of Pichugin.

    The reports of Ribins interrogation, presented at hearing, describe Pichugin as a man of a low stature, thin, with dark hair. This doesnt represent the facts completely. Aleksey Pichugin height is 184 centimeters, he has fair hair, and apart from this, in 1999 Pitchugin was full-blown.

    The Prosecutor of Generals Office of the Russian Federation claims that all crimes Aleksey Pichugin committed by instructions of Leonid Nevzlin and other unidentified persons from the management of UKOS.

    It ought to be said, that such word-combinations as "unidentified persons“, „in undetermined places“, „in undetermined time“ were the most frequently appearing word-combination in letter of accusation.

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