As it became known to Kommersant, the court of cassation, having rejected the appeal of the prosecutor’s office, approved the decision, which fully justified the former deputy general director of JSC Center for the Operation of Ground-Based Space Infrastructure (TsENKI) for Economics and Finance Marat Arustamov. Earlier, on charges of taking a bribe from a company that built houses for workers at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, the manager received a nine-year sentence.
The Second Cassation Court of General Jurisdiction rejected the prosecutor’s office’s submission on the decision of the Moscow City Court, by which Marat Arustamov, previously sentenced by the Izmailovsky District Court of the capital to nine years of strict regime, was fully acquitted and released from custody.
As follows from the materials of the criminal case, in the summer of 2020, a state contract was signed between the directorate of the Vostochny cosmodrome and TsENKI to complete the construction of residential buildings for 2.1 thousand people in the ZATO Tsiolkovsky, Amur Region. TsENKI, in turn, attracted Respekt-SM LLC as a contractor, signing a contract with its general director Alik Aleksanyan. The company, having received an advance payment, had to report on the completion of work on December 25, 2020. On August 7, the first payment in the amount of 126 million rubles was transferred to her personal account from TsENKI.
In September of the same year, Mr. Aleksanyan, realizing that the company did not have working capital to carry out the work, decided through an intermediary who knew Marat Arustamov well, to give him a bribe to speed up the receipt of a second advance payment in the amount of 200 million rubles. During negotiations at the office of the LLC, the parties allegedly agreed that the TsENKI representative would receive 1.5 million rubles for the payment approval, and after the transfer of money, the same amount more. The first part was taken to the TsENKI building and told that the TFR had qualified under the corresponding Part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code.
Mr. Arustamov pleaded not guilty, stating that Alik Aleksanyan and the intermediary slandered him.
Interestingly, the verdict of the Izmailovsky court was appealed by all parties. The defense demanded that the convicted person be acquitted, and the prosecutor’s office demanded that a fine be imposed as an additional punishment and that Marat Arustamov be banned from working in government agencies after his term.
In order to achieve his goal, the prosecutor noted that this crime has an increased public danger, violates the normal management activities of state bodies and institutions, undermines their authority and even “deforms the legal consciousness of citizens, creating in them an idea of the possibility of satisfying personal and collective interests by bribing officials.”
The defense confirmed the absence of corpus delicti by the fact that the defendant, at the request of the entrepreneurs, only prepared a memorandum addressed to the then general director of TsENKI Andrey Okhlopkov, who approved it. Corresponding approval after the checks was given by representatives of the treasury and other structures. Thus, the deputy general director of TsENKI not only did not perform the actions imputed to him to agree on the payment and sign the documents expedited, but could not do it.
A key witness for the prosecution was also questioned in the Moscow City Court, who said that, under the influence of the FSB officers, he slandered Marat Arustamov, whom he knows “as an honest and decent person.”
The money that could be allocated for bribery, he wanted to keep for himself. After examining the materials of the operational-search activities of the FSB, which formed the basis of the criminal case, the court decided that they “go beyond the circumstances of the incriminated act”, since they were carried out in 2021. Then they tried to transfer another 1.5 million rubles to the person involved under the audio recording, which he refused, calling the incident a provocation. In addition, it followed from the testimony of the accused that he did not need the money, since his official salary was comparable to the offered bribe.
The panel of judges, having analyzed the evidence examined by the court of first instance, concluded that “the event of a crime under Part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, not established. None of the witnesses reported that there were any instructions or requests from Mr. Arustamov regarding the signing of an additional agreement, which would simplify the receipt of the second advance payment, or to speed up the implementation of the corresponding advance payment. From the conversation recorded by the operatives on June 11, 2021, it follows that the manager refused to receive “one and a half” and indicated that he had never taken anything.
In connection with all this, the guilty verdict was canceled, and the person involved was acquitted due to the failure to establish the event of the crime.
Marat Arustamov was recognized as having the right to rehabilitation. One and a half million rubles, which the FSB allocated for the operational experiment, were returned to the special services.
Recall that the corruption scandal in the East cost the head of TsENKI Okhlopkov his place. In addition to Mr. Arustamov, then under investigation were Alik Aleksanyan, who is being tried on charges of especially large-scale fraud (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code), and a number of TsENKI employees, who, according to the investigation, abused their official powers (article 285 of the Criminal Code).