As it became known to Kommersant, the court returned to the supervisory authority a high-profile criminal case on the theft of more than a billion rubles allocated for the purchase of Skoda cars for the needs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This was done because of the mistakes made in the prosecution.
The Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow was supposed to consider on the merits a criminal case against the manager for corporate clients of the Skoda division of the Volkswagen Group Rus LLC branch in the capital, Elena Yakovleva, ex-employee of the Main Directorate for Road Safety of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia Evgeny Nikitenko (since 2008- From 2015 to 2015, he headed the Kamchatka State Traffic Inspectorate, and then was transferred to the central office of the ministry), as well as the founder and general director of LLC “Training and Support Center “Movement”” Sergey Kuzmenko and Denis Davydov. All of them are accused by the Main Investigation Department (GSU) of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (TFR) of especially large-scale fraud committed by a group of persons by prior agreement (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code).
However, as a representative of the court told Kommersant, during the preliminary hearings it was established that the indictment was drawn up with significant violations of the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
In this regard, Judge Natalya Cheprasova ruled to return the criminal case to the Prosecutor General’s Office that approved the charge, and from there to the Main Investigative Committee of the ICR.
What violations were identified in the case, the court did not specify. However, as follows from the decision of the Moscow City Court, issued after the completion of the investigation, among them there may be violations related to familiarization with the case. Thus, the document reported that the accused Yelena Yakovleva had read only 37 volumes, while her defenders had read 36 and 53 volumes out of 177 volumes of the criminal case. They were not limited in familiarization, but, given the New Year holidays, they might not have had time to finish reading the materials of the party.
The defenders, however, did not discuss the court decision with Kommersant, citing the fact that they did not have the appropriate permission from the clients.
At the same time, it should be noted that this is not the first time the experienced judge Natalia Cheprasova has been surprising the investigation and supervision. So, for example, considering the case of embezzlement from MKB Compass of 1.4 billion rubles. under contracts for the supply of spare parts and components for the needs of the air defense, navy and air force of the armed forces of Cyprus, Algeria, Greece, India and other states through Rosoboronexport, she acquitted the defendants of the charge of the most serious crime – organizing a criminal community or participating in it (Article 210 of the Criminal Code), which allowed them to avoid long terms.
The same judge, Natalya Cheprasova, having sentenced former deputy director of the Federal Penitentiary Service Oleg Korshunov for nine years for embezzlement (the defense is now seeking his release due to a fatal illness), acquitted him on an even more serious charge of taking bribes (Article 290 of the Criminal Code). At the same time, the official of the Federal Penitentiary Service also received a term from the judge, pleading guilty and testifying against her boss.
Whether the decision of judge Natalya Cheprasova will stand this time or not is not yet clear. The State Prosecution, represented by the same Prosecutor General’s Office, filed an appeal against him with the Moscow City Court.
According to the Main Investigative Directorate of the ICR, in 2019, Sergey Kuzmenko, as the founder of an organization that has the exclusive right to convert civilian vehicles into patrol cars, became aware of the allocation of significant budgetary funds by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the implementation of the national project “Safe and high-quality roads”, which include other things, it was planned to update the fleet of the State traffic inspectorate with Skoda cars.
After that, according to the investigation, Sergey Kuzmenko, Denis Davydov, Evgeny Nikitenko and Elena Yakovleva, having united in an organized group, “implemented a complex multi-stage scheme of embezzlement of budget funds involving leading representatives of the Russian automotive business, whose leaders and representatives were not aware of the criminal intentions of these persons”. As a result of “deliberate price gouging and violation of the principles of fair price competition”, alleged fraudsters stole more than 1.1 billion rubles in the implementation of nine government contracts.
The defendants, who are under house arrest, do not admit their guilt. The investigation also seized the property of the accused and organizations controlled by them for the full amount of the damage caused.
By the way, the problems with patrol cars in the Russian police have not been resolved so far. Last year, as Kommersant reported, primarily due to sanctions, the Ministry of Internal Affairs was unable to find a supplier of the 2.8 thousand new cars needed for the traffic police.