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    The speech of defence and the last word of Alexey Pichugin | 27 Jul 2006


    Georgiy Kaganer27 July 2006 at Moscow State Court the debates of second trial against Alexey Pichugin were closed. The speeches of Alexey Pichugin and Mikhail Ovsyannikov legal defendants were made. The last word was given to the accused. The Judge Vladimir Usov appointed the date of bringing in a verdict  17 August 2006.

    The main statements of the legal consultant Dmitriy Kurepins speech

    The lawyer of Alexey Pichugin Dmitrin Kurepin turned the attention of the court onto the incorrectness of accusations, made in relation to the defendant. The prosecution „does not want to bother itself to determine the place and time of the crime“,  he said. In the accusing conclusion each of the episodes is described by phrases as „unestablished persons“, „at unestablished place“ and „at unestablished time“. „It is impossible to defend from accuses like this“, the lawyer said.

    Analyzing the evidence base of the Prosecution, Dmitriy Kurepin reminded to the court that the legal science discriminates between the primary and supplementary proof. In order to affirm the guilt it is necessary to provide primary evidence. The supplementary ones indeed, serve as a test of the primary proof and do not have an autonomous value.

    Meanwhile the primary proof of Alexey Pichugin, Leoned Nevzlin and Mikhail KHodorkovskiys connection to the killings of Valentina Korneeva, Vladimir Petukhov and assaults at Viktor Kolesov and Evgeniy Rybin are not presented in the materials of the case. According to accused Cigelnik and Reshetnikov, the information that „YUKOS“ employees „ordered“ these crimes was allegedly told by Sergey Gorin. The reference to Gorin, who, because of reasons, known to the court, may not be questioned, is an evidence of supplementary nature, i.e. does not have any independent value.

    The only proof of Alexey Pichugins guilt is the facts of his employment at „MENATEP“ and acquaintance with Gorin.

    The use of such unacceptable evidence base by the prosecution allows, in the opinion of Dmitry Kurepin, make a conclusion that the prosecution is not interested in the establishment of the persons committed the crimes. The true aim was to shape the portrait of „YUKOS“ as a criminal force.

    Dmitry Kurepin called the court to bring a verdict of not guilty in respect of Alexey Pichugin under all articles of incriminated accusation.

    The main statements of the legal consultant Kseniya Kostrominas speech

    The lawyer of Alexey Pichugin Kseniya Kostromina had paid comprehensive attention to the motives of the crimes. „No motive no crime“ she stated. The motive is always conditioned by the purpose and therefore it is necessary to consider whether the purpose put was reached after the commitment of the crime.

    The prosecution calls the refusal to sell the building of the „Chay“ Store on Pokrovka street to „MENATEP“ the motive of the assassination of Valentina Korneeva, the Director of Moscow trade firm „Phoenix“.  However, after the commitment of the crime in no way could the building be passed to „Menatep“. Firstly, the decision on sale could not be made by the son of the killed solely, without the consent of the other shareholders. Secondly, the property of „Phoenix“ was under arrest because of judicial litigations of Korneeva with her partner Taraktelyuk.

    The building of „Chay“ Store was sold by Dmitry Korneev only on 27 June 2003 (i.e. after 5 years after the murder) to a firm which is nowise related to „MENATEP“ and „YUKOS“.

    As a motive of Neftejugansk Mayor killing the prosecution names his actions on collection of tax indebtedness of „YUKOS“. Yet, according to Kseniya Kostromina, in fact there was no arrears at that moment (and this is documentary confirmed). There was only an old indebtedness which was formed at the times when the oil company was owned by state. The schedule of it repayment was negotiated by the management of „YUKOS“ and municipality on talks. The lawyer also underlined that Petukhov had never brought any action to court regarding this indebtedness of „YUKOS“, as, thinking logically, he ought to do. Regarding public activity of the Neftejugansk Mayor against „YUKOS“ (speeches on meetings, hunger-strikes), it, according to Pichugins defence, shall be deemed as being activity on increasing his personal rating as a head of the city in the economically difficult period  at that time the country suffered from nonpayment crises, and also, as a quest to shift his fault for non-payment of salaries in Neftejugansk to the oil company (Kostormina reminded that Petukhov had a conflict with local Duma because of his inappropriate spending of budget means).

    Regarding the aim which „YUKOS“ allegedly intended to reach by killing Petukhov, the lawyer reminded about the testimonies of Klepikov, Kaliman and other witnesses. In their opinion, the crime was extremely disadvantageous for the company, as soon as it disrupted the negotiations process with the mayor and breathed upon „YUKOS“ reputation.

    Alalyzing the episodes of two attempts at the head of the East Petroleum Company Evgeniy Rybin, Kseniya Kostromina recalled that as the motive the prosecution names the legal actions brought by Rybin against „YUKOS“ under the contracts of reconstruction of West-Meridional and Krapivinsky entrails.

    Meanwhile, the lawyer said, the arbitrary court made a decision to satisfy only 10 per cents of Rybin first claim and refused to satisfy the second. That means that for „YUKOS“ there was no motive to remove Rybin. At that Kostromina noted that the decision of the arbitrary court deprived Rybin from the possibility to gain extra profits as it was before due to malae fide transactions of the part of „Tomskneft“ (when it was a state company) and „East Petroleum“ employees.

    Kseniya Kostromina called the court to bring a verdict of not guilty in respect of Alexey Pichugin under all articles of incriminated accusation.

    The main statements of the legal consultant Georgiy Kaganers speech

    Following Dmitry Kurepin the lawyer of Alexey Pichugin Georgiy Kaganer declared the court that the actual purposes of public prosecution do not bear any relation to the establishment of truth and punishment of the criminals.

    Georgiy Kaganer reminded, that former deputy of General Prosecutor prior to making the decision under the first case of Pichugin claimed that Alexey Oichugin and Leonid Nevzlin are guilty of the crimes incriminated to them.

    The lawyer also turned the attention of the court to the personalities of the main witnesses for the prosecution  the majority of them „migrated“ from the first case of Pichugin into the second. This is Igor Korovnikov, condemned to lifetime imprisonment in correctional colonies of particular regime for several manslaughters, rapes, kidnappings, production of self-made explosives and other crimes. These are members of Korovnikov band Vladimir Kabanec (condemned to 22 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property and completion of the penalty in correctional colony of strict regime for commitment of several murders, rapes, kidnapping, unlawful making of weapons and other crimes), Denis Erbes (condemned to 17 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property and serving of penalty in correctional colony of strict regime for commitment of murders and other crimes), Pavel Popov (condemned to 14 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property and completion of the penalty in correctional colony of strict regime for commitment of murders, kidnappings, unlawful making of weapons and concealment of crimes) and Oleg Smirnov (condemned to 7 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property and completion of the penalty in correctional colony of strict regime for organization of criminal community, exceeding of official powers and theft). In the view of Georgiy Kaganer, the testimonies of such witnesses  — conflicting and repeatedly changed  do not deserve credit.

    Moreover, Georgiy Kaganer recalled the examination protocols made public in course of court hearing evidence that the assassination of Netejugansk Mayor was committed by another persons (not Cigelnik and Reshetnikov).

    With regard to two assaults to Evgeniy Rybin, the lawter, in particular, told about the conclusion of calligraphy expert Volodina made on two calligraphic expertises of the note (allegedly, it contained the address of „East Petroleum“ written by the hand of Pichugin). In the opinion of Volodina, there was no sufficient base to make such conclusions. And what is more, Georgiy Kaganer drew the attention of the court to the strange fact that this note was supposedly found in the passport of Gorin several months later after the start of the investigation. At the same time, the actual fact of discovery of the note (in contrast to other assets) was not recorded by the investigation onto photo or video aids.

    The lawyer also drew the attention of the court to an absurd fact as if Cigelnik and Reshetnikov named their high-ranked customers  although between them, according to the essentials of the case, there was a long chain of intermediaries.

    In conclusion, Georgiy Kaganer reminded the court that for passing the sentence there should be primary evidence proving the guilt of the accused. For the passing the verdict of „not guilty“, however, it is enough to doubt the guiltiness. And there is more then enough grounds for such doubts in the case of Pichugin.

    Georgiy Kaganer called the court to bring a verdict of not guilty in respect of Alexey Pichugin under all articles of incriminated accusation.

    The main statements of the legal consultant Mikhail Jidkovs speech

    Mikhail Jidkov, in particular, reminded the court about the principle of presumption of innocence and if there are any uncertainties they should be interpreted for the benefit of the defendant. The lawyer called the court to bring a verdict of not guilty in respect of Alexey Pichugin under all articles of incriminated accusation.

    The last word of Alexey Pichugin

    Your Honor! I declare, that I have never committed any crimes even though was condemned to 20 years of imprisonment. I was unfairly convicted. I fully confirm the position of my defence. The accusations, made against me are not only unjust, but the [evidence of it] are poor. . I hope for your justice [and for] your making the only right decision  decision of „not guilty“.

    The speeches of other defendants

    Vladimir Shapiro confessed that he had killed Valentina Korneeva upon Gorins „order“ and that the names of other „customers“ are not known to him. Shapiro told that he repents of of the done.

    Gennadiy Cigelnik and Evgeniy Reshetnikov read out the texts they had prepared beforehand in which it was stated that they had committed the assassinations under the „order“ of Leonid Nevzlin, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Alexey Pichugin. Cigelnik, particularly, read: „I fell under the criminal influence of Khodorkovsky, Nevzlin and Pichugin and therefore committed the crimes for which I regret“.

    Mikhail Ovsyanikov did not acknowledge any of the incurred wrongdoings. He just another time claimed that the testimonies against the employees of „YUKOS“ were made by him under the pressure of the investigation and now he refuses them. 


    ***


    Hereon, the court hearing closed. The judge Vladimir Usov announced, that he retreats to the retiring room for return proceedings. The verdict will be made public to the accused on 17 August 2006, at Moscow State Court, room 507. The opening of the hearing is at 11 am.


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