“During the investigation, sufficient evidence was obtained that the attempted murder and the murder itself were committed by Gafurov in close cooperation with members of the 29th Complex community,” Andrey Kosenko, an investigator for especially important cases of the Main Investigative Committee of the ICR, said in court. Gafurov pointed to the lack of motives for the murder of Aidar Israfilov, recounted the studied volumes of the criminal case and again complained about the ordered nature of the criminal prosecution. About how the Moscow City Court confirmed the legality of initiating a criminal case against the ex-rector of KFU – in the report “BUSINESS Online”.
“He was repeatedly interrogated on the circumstances of the relationship between him and the victim Israfilov”
The Moscow City Court this week confirmed the legality of initiating a criminal case against the ex-rector of KFU Ilshat Gafurov. Judge Larisa Polyakova upheld the decision of the Basmanny District Court: as BUSINESS Online wrote, in the summer, lawyer Olga Naryshkina tried to challenge the validity of bringing her client to criminal liability. Recall that Gafurov is accused of inciting the preparation and murder in 1999 of Elabuga businessman Aidar Israfilov.
Despite the delays in court hearings, traditional for Moscow courts, all participants in the process arrived in advance. Although only Naryshkina filed an appeal, in the early morning in the corridor of the Moscow City Court there were also two other lawyers for Gafurov – Alexander Naryshkin and Alexei Donochkin. Dilyar and Gulnara again came to support the father of their daughter, although Gafurov participated in the process via video link from the pre-trial detention center. Andrey Kosenko, the investigator for especially important cases of the Main Investigative Committee of the Investigative Committee of Russia, arrived exactly at the appointed 9:30. The meeting itself started half an hour later.
Naryshkina told the court that the criminal case against Gafurov was initiated on December 21, 2021, although at that time there was an unrepealed decision to refuse to initiate a criminal case, issued on April 15, 2002 by the head of the investigative department of the Naberezhnye Chelny prosecutor’s office, Azat Ziyatdinov, who just investigated crimes committed by members of the OCG “29th complex”. “The preliminary investigation authorities actually recognized the fact that the decision to refuse to initiate a criminal case discovered by the defense during the study of the criminal case is directly related to Gafurov’s case,” Naryshkina emphasized, adding that this decision was canceled only on July 14, 2022.
In her opinion, a criminal case could not be initiated in the general manner, but a review of the sentences of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan, which convicted the participants of the “29th complex” in 2006 (in relation to Adygan Salyakhov (Alik), Yuri Eremenko (Yerema), Farid Khisamutdinov (Khisy) and 2017 (in relation to Ruzal Asadullin (Ruzalik), including for preparing for the murder and the murder of Israfilov.
Separately, Naryshkina clarified that these verdicts mention the involvement of other unidentified persons in the crimes. However, in her opinion, Gafurov cannot be classified as such. “During the investigation, he was repeatedly interrogated on the circumstances of the relationship between him and the victim Israfilov and gave testimony that completely coincided with the testimony of the victim himself,” Naryshkina told the court. She pointed out that the practice of initiating criminal cases due to the fact that persons serving sentences suddenly changed their testimony was unacceptable. “This practice, if implemented, will affect the constitutional rights of very many citizens of the Russian Federation. To date, the constitutional rights of Gafurov Ilshat Rafkatovich have been violated, since the illegal initiation of a criminal case against him led to his long-term detention and other violations, ”explained Naryshkina.
“Well, what kind of personal hostile relationship could I have with the victim?”
In turn, Gafurov hastened to agree with the lawyer and also noted that he did not consider it legal to initiate a criminal case against him. “Firstly, I completely lack any motive for inciting the murder of Israfilov,” he said. According to the ex-rector of KFU, the assertion that it was he who persuaded Salyakhov, and then Airat Shakirov to organize the murder of Israfilov, is contrary to common sense. “Well, what kind of personal hostile relationship could I have with the victim? I didn’t have any relationship with him at all – neither good nor bad! Gafurov was indignant.
He once again told that in 1998 he was appointed head of the administration of Yelabuga and the Yelabuga region, elected a deputy of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan. According to him, during the inventory of city property, he discovered that a number of buildings and land plots were used illegally. One of these facilities was Israfilov’s nightclub, which was located in the building of a former cinema. There, drugs were allegedly distributed among young people and prostitution flourished. Also, the operation of the building was not coordinated with the fire and construction and technical supervision. “The policy of the administration, which I headed in those years, was generally carried out in the direction of the orderly use of municipal and state property, which was justified by the current economic situation, the requirements of the law, and not by my personal whim,” said the ex-rector of KFU. According to him, Israfilov then did not pay taxes and utility bills, but this cannot be a motive for the crime. “Then all tax inspectors who demand payment of taxes from entrepreneurs, industrial companies, what, should incite murder? This is the deepest absurdity!” Gafurov was indignant. According to him, the head of the city administration in those years had a huge administrative resource. “If I had an interest in taking the property that was in the use of Israfilov, I could do this by simply breaking the trust agreement,” the accused specified. Then Gafurov once again added that he was simply fulfilling his professional duties.
Separately, he mentioned that the motive for the murder in view of the possible election of Israfilov to the post of head of the city and district administration is also groundless. In 1998-1999, the candidacy of the head of administration was submitted for approval by the President of the Republic of Tatarstan. Israfilov could not have been appointed under such circumstances, since already at the beginning of 1999 a criminal case was initiated against him for beating the director of the market. “The statement in the decision to initiate a criminal case that I feared revenge for previous actions aimed at depriving Israfilov of his life is also not justified, since there were no such actions on my part,” the ex-rector of KFU assured.
“The murder of Israfilov occurred on the basis of the struggle for the leadership of the criminal group “Aidaronovskie”
Then Gafurov decided to remind the court that the criminal case on the fact of preparations for the murder of Israfilov was considered by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan back in 2006. By the same jury verdict, members of the 29th complex organized crime group were convicted of killing 17 more people. Later, Asadullin was detained in the case of the murder of Israfilov, which was separated into a separate proceeding. As part of a pre-trial agreement, he confessed to organizing the murder. The verdict was handed down on March 2, 2017.
Gafurov said that Israfilov created a “criminal group” in Yelabuga, named after him “Aidaronovskie”. The ex-rector claimed that within it in 1998-1999 a conflict arose between Israfilov himself and Shakirov. So the latter turned to Asadullin with a proposal to organize the murder of Israfilov for $100,000. “The verdicts of the courts that have entered into legal force established that the murder of Israfilov took place on the basis of the struggle for the leadership of the Aidaronovskie criminal group, and also because of the struggle to expand the sphere of criminal influence of the 29th complex organized crime group,” concluded the ex-rector of KFU .
According to him, it follows from the case file that one of the witnesses spoke about a personal meeting with Shakirov, during which he announced a joint business with Israfilov. The latter stopped sharing profits with a partner, and Shakirov decided to physically eliminate him. Defendant Asadullin, who was later interrogated in the case, testified that Israfilov, the leader of the Aidaronovskie group, was killed by Olesik, Salyakhov’s bodyguard. “Shakirov wanted to take Israfilov’s place in a criminal group, so he entered into an agreement with Asadullin,” Gafurov said at the trial. Shakirov was supposed to lure Israfilov to Moscow, and there “the person who Asadullin picks up” could commit the murder. “When Asadullin introduced Shakirov to Olesik, he was given a pistol with a silencer, a magazine of cartridges for it and part of the money. And a few days later he called Shakirov and said: “Come to Moscow with Israfilov.” After that, Asadullin organized the murder of Israfilov,” said the ex-rector of KFU. At the same time, he once again added that he learned about the circumstances later, already from the materials of the criminal case, which he has been familiarizing himself with for two months. As “BUSINESS Online” wrote, in the case of 61 volumes. Of these, Gafurov studied 8, and the defenders – only within two or three volumes, constantly complaining about the inconvenience of the conditions of the pre-trial detention center.
Gafurov also mentioned one more detail: allegedly Israfilov invested his funds in the Maheev plant in Yelabuga (apparently, we are talking about Essen Production AG by Leonid Baryshev and Vadim Maheev), which just started work at that time. “The 29th Complex also wanted to gain control over this enterprise, Shakirov wanted to remove Israfilov from the plant so that, through his mediation, members of the 29th Complex group would be involved in this business,” the ex-rector of KFU explained.
“Now the criminals are slandering me”
“Why have I been kept here behind bars for more than a year? Now the criminals are slandering me. But why did none of the interrogated persons say anything earlier during the establishment of the truth in the Republic of Tatarstan? They also didn’t speak in Moscow either,” the ex-rector of KFU addressed the court. After that, he added that those who today give false evidence against him, for 20 years, told about what happened in a completely different way. “What court found their previous testimony to be false? Now they are trying to refute even the signature of Ziyatdinov himself, who signed more than 20 documents, and it was on the basis of his documents that decisions were made. Based on the logic of the preliminary investigation, it is necessary to reconsider the decisions of the courts of 2006 and 2017,” Gafurov said.
According to the ex-rector of KFU, it is possible to put him behind bars and prevent him from seeing his relatives on such a far-fetched and unfounded accusation only with a biased attitude. “This evokes sad thoughts about the ordered nature of this persecution,” Gafurov also suggested. The investigation, according to him, today relies on false testimonies of persons sentenced to long terms of imprisonment, who lie “for preferences not yet known to the public.” “I believe that history will put everything in its place. Today I am deprived of the opportunity to defend myself, to stop the flow of lies and slander against me. And only criminals unhindered unfoundedly accuse me, receiving in return pre-trial agreements, possibly other benefits, ”Gafurov specified.
“The attempted murder and the murder itself were committed by Gafurov in close cooperation with members of the 29th Complex community”
Lawyer Donochkin once again dwelled in detail on the decision to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings against Gafurov, which was issued back in 2002. “At the time the criminal case was initiated, this decision had not been canceled by any investigating authorities,” he repeated Naryshkina’s argument. According to him, the authenticity of the signature on this document does not matter. The mere fact that this resolution was nevertheless canceled in July 2022 indicates that it has a certain legal force. “What difference does it make if the signature is fake or not? There is a decision to refuse to initiate a criminal case, which is in the case file, which investigates the circumstances that we are now investigating in relation to my client, ”said the lawyer.
Investigator Kosenko hastened to disagree with him. According to him, Gafurov’s motives will be the subject of consideration of the case on the merits and have nothing to do with the current court session. Commenting on the decision to refuse to open a criminal case of 2002, the investigator noted that it had been cancelled. “During the investigation, sufficient evidence was obtained that the attempted murder and the murder itself were committed by Gafurov in close cooperation with members of the 29th Complex community,” Kosenko assured. According to him, the resolution itself gives a legal assessment only to Gafurov’s participation in the 29th complex criminal community, which the defense side does not talk about in their speeches. At the same time, it does not contain any legal assessment of the attempted murder and the murder of Israfilov.
After that, the judge retired to make a decision, but literally 10 minutes later she returned to the courtroom. “The complaint of the applicant, lawyer Naryshkina, was dismissed,” Polyakova concluded.