At the session held on 22 May 2006 examination of witnesses for prosecution continued. Former adviser of „YUKOS“ Gennady Piskaryov, former security service employee of the oil company Michael Balushkin, and former colleagues of entrepreneur Eugenie Ribin made statements. The latter, let us remind, previously testified that in 1998 and 1999 his life was attempted twice.
In response to the judge’s question Mr. Piskaryov said that he is not acquainted with none of the accused. Then he told that shortly before his discharge from „YUKOS“ in June 1998 he was send on a business trip by Nevslin and Shahnovsky to Nefteugansk for evaluation of state of company’s affairs in the region. In particular, according to Piskaryov, here was a conflict between „YUKOS“ governing body and the mayor of Nefteugansk Petukov because of „partial payments of taxes“ made by the company to the city budget. In response to the lawyer’s qualifying question Piskaryov explained that he did not familiarize himself with the tax reports of „YUKOS“ and drew conclusions about the tax arrears from analytical notes based on mass media publications that were presented to him.
On 26th of June 1998, the next day after the arrival in Nefteugansk Piskaryov learned about assassination of mayor of the city. With reference to untried rumors circulating in public the witness relates this crime to „YUKOS“ and calls it „a gift presented to Hodorkovsky on his Birthday“. Even if we admit the wild assumption about the „gift“ as a release version, it is still unclear why in this case the company sent Piskaryov on a business trip to Nefteugansk to look for ways of solution of the conflict with the mayor.
Having returned from Nefteugansk Piskaryov presented to his direction the report about the trip. According to the adviser, the report criticizing the current work of security service caused discontent that was the alleged reason for his discharge.
Eugenie Ribin’s colleagues told about two attempts on his life (and the court proceeding between Ribin’s company East Petroleum and „YUKOS“ in the course of which Ribin failed to prove validity of his claims). Though those people themselves were not witnesses of these crimes and knew about them from the other people, including Ribin himself. They call Leonid Nevzlin mastermind of the attempt.
The witness Andrei Smetkin who fulfilled the guarding of the route of entrepreneur’s automobile reported to the court that the day of the second attempt (in 1999) he checked the documents of the driver of light color „Niva“ that was parked not far from Volokolamskoe cemetery and attracted Smetkin’s interest. As it turned out, the documents were processed for the name of Federal Security Service major Shevtsov. Now in the court the witness recognized the person he saw in the accused Tsigelnik.
Another witness, security service employee initially employed by „MENATEP“ and later by „YUKOS“ Michael Balushkin told that he executed the lease of some of the company’s automobiles for his name (he does not remember how many, he specifies only the colors of the cars – silver and black), though he did not use them. He knows Aleksey Pichugin by sight but not in person.
Except the witnesses’ statements the extracts from the case papers related to Gorin’s disappearance were cited in the session.