According to the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR), the assassination of the journalist was ordered by the former Krasnoyarsk deputy Isa Khashiev, with whom the editor-in-chief had a conflict in the local elections. Viktor Shestakov, a pupil of the orphanage, dealt with Dmitry Popkov, who completed the order for free. The court sentenced them to 16 and 14 years in a strict regime colony, respectively. The defense did not agree with either the verdict or the guilty verdict of the jury, which formed its basis. The lawyers asked for a new jury and a retrial, but they were refused.
The Krasnoyarsk Regional Court has completed consideration of a high-profile criminal case on the contract murder of Dmitry Popkov, editor of the Minusinsk socio-political newspaper Ton-M. The murder orderer Isa Khashiev and the killer Viktor Shestakov were sentenced based on the guilty verdict of the jury.
The editor-in-chief of the Ton-M weekly, published under the slogan “We write what others are silent about,” was shot dead on May 24, 2017 in his own bathhouse on the territory of a manor under construction in the city of Minusinsk (south of the Krasnoyarsk Territory). That day, Dmitry Popkov invited a group of friends to the bathhouse.
The guests went to the steam room, leaving the owner alone in the rest room, and when they returned, he was lying in a pool of blood.
The local administration of the ICR opened a criminal case on the murder (Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). It caused a great public outcry: the international organization Reporters Without Borders was interested in the course of the investigation. “Since the crime remained unsolved, in 2018, on the basis of instructions from the chairman of the ICR, Alexander Bastrykin, based on the results of his personal reception of the wife of the victim, the criminal case was transferred to the Main Investigation Department for organizing further investigation,” said the official representative of the department, Svetlana Petrenko.
In 2020, law enforcement officers identified a circle of suspects. It included the alleged customer, ex-deputy of the Minusinsk District Council Isa Khashiev, who on the day of the murder was among the guests in the bathhouse. Also under investigation were the local crime boss Nikolai Goryunov, who served as the organizer, and the killer, a pupil of the orphanage, Viktor Shestakov. At the time of the murder, he was 17 years old. All three were placed in jail.
The motive for the crime, the investigation is sure, was the conflict between Isa Khashiev and Dmitry Popkov because of their confrontation in the elections of the head of the Minusinsk region in April 2016.
To divert suspicion from himself, the ex-deputy created the appearance that he wants to normalize relations with his opponent. Once he came with a bouquet of flowers for the birthday of the editor-in-chief’s wife, according to the case file.
Organize the murder, according to the case, Isa Khashiev proposed to the “authority” Nikolai Goryunov, promising to pay 200 thousand rubles. and donate a land plot near the village of Bystraya, where there are deposits of flagstone. To fulfill the order, he attracted a pupil of the orphanage, Viktor Shestakov, with whom he was friends, and handed him a pistol with a silencer.
On May 24, 2017, according to the case, the orphanage resident fired six bullets at the journalist and fled. He did not demand payment for the “work”. Glavred, according to the materials of the investigation, he eliminated in order to “restore the honest name” of Nikolai Goryunov, about whom Dmitry Popkov wrote exposing notes.
The case against Nikolai Goryunov, who fully admitted his guilt and entered into a pre-trial agreement on cooperation, was separated into a separate proceeding. For organizing the murder of the chief editor and for another serious crime, he was sentenced to 16 years and 10 months in a colony.
Two other defendants, Isa Khashiev and Viktor Shestakov, denied guilt, declaring that they were not involved in the crime. Their case was considered by a jury of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Court. The assessors unanimously (8:0) found the defendants guilty, said the official representative of the regional prosecutor’s office, Olesya Klimova.
According to Kommersant-Siberia sources familiar with the proceedings, the lawyers stated in court that the principle of competition and equality of the parties was violated in the process.
They asked to form a new jury and retrial, but were refused. The court sentenced Ise Khashiev to 16 years in prison in a strict regime colony, obliging him to pay the journalist’s widow 2 million rubles. compensation for moral damage. 14 years in prison, according to the verdict, will be held by Viktor Shestakov.