He asked the jury to acquit him. Prosecutors in response to the emotional speech of the defendant and lawyers spoke allegorically
The debate of the parties in the criminal case of the ex-governor of the Khabarovsk Territory Sergei Furgal, accused of organizing contract killings in 2004-2005 on the territory of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Amur Region, has ended in the Moscow Regional Court. The defendant urged the jury to deliver an “impartial” verdict, assuring that he had nothing to do with the alleged crimes. The politician argued that it was very important for him to “wash his name”. The prosecutors responded to the defendant with an incendiary speech in remarks. Furgal and his three alleged accomplices will have their last word on February 1.
In the debate of the parties at a meeting of the Lyubertsy City Court of the Moscow Region (the process is an exit process and takes place in the building of the Moscow Regional Court), Sergei Furgal actually spoke all day with interruptions.
In his speech, he tried to “sort through” the accusation, which, in his opinion, was built in such a way as to destroy him as a person. “It doesn’t matter to anyone whether he killed or didn’t kill – it’s important to pour dirt. But it is important for me that there is not even a doubt about my innocence, ”Furgal said.
He and three defendants – Marat Kadyrov, Andrei Paley and Andrei Karepov – are accused of attempted murder of the Amur businessman Alexander Smolsky and of the murders of businessmen Evgeny Zori and Oleg Bulatov in 2004-2005 on the territory of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Amur Region. Two grenades were thrown into the garage of the first, but he was not injured, the other two were shot dead. The prosecution believes that Furgal was the customer, Karepov was the organizer, and Kadyrov and Paley were the perpetrators of the crimes. The latter two, according to investigators, were part of the Timofeevsky criminal group, which was headed by criminal authority Mikhail Timofeev, who was put on the wanted list (he was charged in absentia), whose group was formed in 1998 on the basis of the Moses sports club.
During the process, which has been going on since May 11, 2022, none of the defendants pleaded guilty. They entrusted their fate to the jury. The debate of the parties started on January 23. During their prosecutors Alexander Korobeinikov and Anton Shcherbakov declared that the charges were proven and called on a panel of eight people’s judges to issue a guilty verdict.
“Black Angel in the Flesh”
At the same time, Sergei Furgal believes that the prosecutor’s office does not have irrefutable evidence of his guilt, as well as other defendants.
So, according to the defendant, it did not make sense for him to encroach on the businessman Smolsky, allegedly because he did not want to reduce the price of scrap metal. The defendant noted that the Mif-Khabarovsk company headed by him at that time (Furgal served as general director), although it was a competitor of Zori’s company, had about 60 plots, participated in auctions where tens of thousands of tons of military equipment were raffled off, and so on. “Why, then, did other companies participating in the auctions not complain about Mif-Khabarovsk, like Smolsky? What is the use of killing a competitor if tomorrow another one will take his place? Furgal asked.
He also refuted the testimony of the former owner of the company, Nikolai Mistryukov, who made a deal with the investigation and testified against him in court. Furgal’s former partner said that he and the defendant made the decisions to eliminate all three businessmen appearing in the case jointly, allocating a million rubles for each crime.
“And I’m here, like a black angel in the flesh. But who am I to him? He (Mistryukov) is not my son, and I had no feelings for him. We have different interests with him. And who am I, and who is he. He is the owner, I am the director, ”Furgal pointed out. He also noticed that businessman Yevgeny Zori (according to the prosecution, he was killed due to a conflict over the railway tracks to the concrete products plant No. 3 in Khabarovsk, with the help of which the Mif-Khabarovsk company shipped scrap metal from the warehouse), had another business that could become a pretext for reprisal.
“The witness Yegorov spoke at the trial. And he said that Zorya had not only tents, but also a department store. And I’ll tell you more, he also had shopping centers that cost billions of rubles, and this, I want to tell you, is not just tents already, ”said Furgal.
The defendant added that Zorya had from 120 to 150 stalls, which meant “trade without cash.” “There Zorya was selling counterfeit alcohol. Zorya also sold the received cash, and also laundered money. He had accounts in the bank, he supplied products from abroad, ”the defendant hinted at the presence of other ill-wishers in the victim.
Search for “black cat”
According to him, Zorya “received land for retail outlets through his wife and the mayor.” In conclusion, Furgal said that there was “no point in looking for a black cat in a black room,” and admitted that he was not worried about himself, but was worried about his children and grandchildren, who “have to live with this.” He asked the jury to reach an “impartial decision”.
Earlier, in 2021, in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper, the ex-governor linked his criminal prosecution to an economic conflict at the Amurstal plant, 25% of which was owned by his ex-wife Larisa Starodubova. According to the defense, during the investigation, her share was arrested. Subsequently, after the increase in the share in the authorized capital by the new owner Pavel Balsky (he became the owner of 75%), the share of Starodubova was actually zeroed – it began to equal 0.003%.
According to the defense, the prosecution of the defendants was based on speculation and there are no “important, classic evidence” in the case – fingerprints, DNA traces, records of telephone conversations and telephone connections – which, as a rule, are found in the vast majority of criminal cases. Lawyers for the defendants asked to be acquitted.
“18 years of impunity”
Their words did not go unanswered. During the parties’ remarks on January 30, prosecutor Anton Shcherbakov asked the jury to “stop counting the 18 years of impunity for the defendants,” and his colleague Alexander Korobeinikov made a vivid speech.
He advised not to believe the words of lawyers that there is not even circumstantial evidence of guilt in the case. “Of course not, because there are no concepts in the law – indirect, crooked, direct,” he said, explaining that only the jury can give their assessment of the evidence.
The prosecutor also rejected the arguments of the defense that without the main evidence – fingerprints – it is impossible to prove the charge of murder. “Only in comics there are always fingerprints, life is much more diverse,” he said.
According to him, the prosecution in the debate of the parties specifically did not focus on the testimony of Nikolai Mistryukov and the second main witness for the prosecution, former police officer Vladimir Pershin, who for many years “protected” Mif-Khabarovsk. The prosecutors did not do this because there is other evidence of the guilt of the defendants, and the prosecution “could build a logical picture of what happened,” Korobeinikov said.
According to him, the guilt of the defendants is obvious, and the jury, evaluating the evidence, should be guided by common sense. Illustrating his request, Korobeinikov cited as an example the story of a young son who at night ate a chocolate cake left by his father in the refrigerator at home. In the morning, despite the fact that his face was smeared with chocolate, he began to deny involvement in eating sweets: “No, dad, I didn’t eat it, but this is Lamb!”. You don’t have video cameras, you didn’t see who ate the cake. But you know your son did it. There is, of course, a possibility that a neighbor Uncle Vasya entered the house, who picked up a master key and stole a cake from the refrigerator,” the state prosecutor addressed the jury. “But still, you mustn’t reach the point of absurdity.”
He also compared the words of lawyers about the shortcomings of the investigation with the dream of Manilov, a character in Gogol’s novel Dead Souls, about a crystal bridge.
Emotions in the courtroom
At about six o’clock in the evening, Judge Gennady Tsoi invited the defendants to say the last word. Those asked to stop until February 1 to rest and prepare for the meeting. But the judge did not want to go for it. He accused the defense of dragging out the process, although the lawyers vouched that their clients would finish speaking on Wednesday before lunch and the jury would be able to leave for a verdict the same day.
As a result, Sergei Furgal burst into an angry tirade, bursting into a scream. He stated that he was not feeling well and the judge “brought him to a nervous breakdown.” He suggested calling an ambulance. The defendant agreed and outlined the prospects of how this could end – the hearing will end in the night.
“Call an ambulance, let them give me first aid. And then the last word, I will have 2.5 hours, – Furgal literally shouted. – I understand that Furgal needs to be imprisoned as soon as possible. But that’s not how it’s done! Do you want the jury to sit here and sleep and hate us? It’s a violation, sleep deprivation! I didn’t ask for any of that. Well, the Earth will descend from orbit?!”.
As a result, the hearing was adjourned. It is expected that after the defendants say the last word on February 1, the court will draw up a questionnaire for the jury, deliver a parting word, and the panel will retire to deliver a verdict.