The criminal case of Ulyanovsk City Duma deputy Anton Antipov, who was detained in September last year on charges of mediating when receiving a bribe, has been submitted to the court. As it turned out, during the investigation, the charge was reclassified as fraud by a group of people by prior agreement. The defendant pleads not guilty. According to the defense, the reclassification of the accusation is due to the fact that the investigation failed to prove the existence of a bribe. The prosecutor’s office notes that the deputy did not plan to transfer money to anyone and was engaged in deception, since in reality he could not change anything, this was the essence of fraud. Lawyers believe that there was no crime, and the defense hoped that the case would be dropped altogether.
On Friday, June 9, the criminal case of Ulyanovsk City Duma deputy Anton Antipov, after the approval of the indictment, was submitted to court, the prosecutor’s office of the Ulyanovsk region reported.
Anton Antipov was detained in his car on September 2 last year by employees of the regional department of the FSB and the investigation department of the TFR in the Ulyanovsk region. According to eyewitnesses, the operatives presented him with a kind of “yellow folder”, from which the deputy “disowned”. The very next day, he was charged with mediation in bribery when committing obviously illegal actions (part 2 of article 291.1, up to seven years in prison).
Officially, the Investigative Committee of the ICR did not report anything about the initiation of a criminal case. The details of the accusation became known in court when determining the measure of restraint for the deputy. As a representative of the Investigative Committee of the ICR reported, on August 19, the deputy told the head of the city department of road facilities and transport, Valery Khudozhidkov, that he could “help avoid verification by the State Construction Supervision Service”, the service would cost 150 thousand rubles. Mr. Khudozhidkov agreed, and on August 31 he himself wrote a statement about this to the FSB (now he is a key witness in this case). The money, according to the investigation, was handed over to the deputy on September 2 “for transfer to a certain official”, this amount was found during a search of the deputy’s car during the arrest. The Ulyanovsk human rights activist and independent lawyer Konstantin Tolkachev, who was present at the court session on choosing a preventive measure, noted at that time that “there were questions” about the actions of the security forces: “If Antipov took the money to transfer to another official, then why was he not allowed to complete this case to detain the final recipient of the bribe.” Even then, in September, Anton Antipov did not admit his guilt and stated that he had been “set up”.
In April, another victim appeared in the case, the episode with which was included in the criminal case – the owner of the Dome cafe Yevgeny Fevralev, he told the investigating authorities that from May to July 2021 the deputy suggested that he settle the issue and prevent the demolition of the cafe ( which was subject to dismantling on the basis of a decree of the head of the city) for 500 thousand rubles.
Today it became known that during the investigation the qualification of the charge was changed. Now Anton Antipov, in the first episode (with Valery Khudozhidkov), is accused of fraud by deceit or breach of trust with causing significant damage (part 2 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, up to five years in prison), and in the second episode (with Evgeny Fevralev) – in attempted fraud, not brought to an end due to circumstances beyond the control of the offender (part 3 of article 30 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). In total, the prosecutor’s office notes, Anton Antipov faces up to six years in prison.
As a source close to the investigating authorities explained to Kommersant-Volga, according to preliminary data, it was believed that “Anton Antipov took a bribe to transfer to a prosecutor, but it was not possible to prove this, so the charge was reclassified as fraud.”
The prosecutor’s office of Kommersant-Volga noted that, according to the investigation, “there were no final recipients.” “The money found in the deputy’s car was labeled, trained by operational officers, the deputy was not going to transfer it to anyone, and could only keep it for himself, since in reality he had no agreements with anyone, therefore his actions qualify as fraud. The same thing happened in the episode with Fevralyov, where he was also going to take the money for himself, because in reality he could not change anything – there was already a published resolution of the mayor on the dismantling of the cafe, ”the prosecutor’s office explained.
“Our position is unchanged, we do not admit guilt and will defend ourselves against unfounded accusations,” Anton Antipov’s lawyer Oleg Maksimov told Kommersant-Volga. According to him, “both the investigation and the detention were carried out with many violations, and the criminal case itself would be impossible if everything was done according to the law.” “Now even the investigation is not trying to prove the bribe, which was his original unreasonable fantasy, and now, since a rather significant person is in custody, apparently, he needs to somehow justify his actions,” the lawyer said, noting that he was “surprised that in general the case was sent to court, there was hope that the case would simply be dismissed.”