Yesterday, the Moscow City Court dismissed the appeal of businesswoman Olga Mirimskaya’s lawyers against her detention.
In some mysterious way, two witnesses in the Yukos case at once began to have serious problems with Russian law in December 2021 and continue this year. It is significant that it was on their testimony that Leonid Nevzlin was sentenced to life.
Nevzlin himself reacted to what was happening with a mocking message on Twitter: “Long live the Russian court, the most humane court in the world. long live Olga Mikhailovna Mirimskaya! And it seems that Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s main ally had reason to be happy.
The Basmanny Court of Moscow sent Olga Mirimskaya into custody on December 17, 2021. Her defense argues that the chain of three criminal cases that led to her arrest is revenge for the return of her kidnapped daughter and an attempt to defame the court decisions that confirmed her motherhood. And the main customer of this persecution, it seems, is her ex-civil husband Nikolai Smirnov.
At first glance, in this drama, everything that happens looks like a “family conflict of difficult people with opportunities.” Events unfolded something like this: Olga Mirimskaya had a daughter from a surrogate mother, who was illegally taken out of Russia by Nikolai Smirnov. Fearing criminal prosecution, including from Interpol, he left the baby in Cyprus and left for the United States. Then one and a half year old Sonya managed to be returned to Russia. But in the course of the struggle between the lawyers of the two sides, an episode occurred that forced us to look at the whole story differently. At a key moment for Smirnov, on which the qualification of the charges brought against him depended, lawyer Kamilla Mekhtiyeva appeared as his representative in the Moscow surrogate clinic, trying to take away all the documents relevant to the case. It seems that among them are those proving the role of Smirnov himself, as a non-anonymous donor at the birth of a child. It seems that such an attempt is a completely understandable and logical move for a lawyer to protect a client, if not for one “but”. Kamilla Mekhtiyeva is a lawyer and trusted representative of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in rather important and sensitive cases. And Alexei Golubovich, a former shareholder of YUKOS and a witness at his trial, also sued Olga Mirimskaya more than once, then the whole story takes a different turn. After all, the first case against Mirimskaya is also directly connected with Golubovich.
It was initiated at the request of Nikolai Smirnov’s representative, Alexander Remov’s lawyer. It was about the fact that the business woman allegedly paid the judges for the division of property in her favor with her first husband Alexei Golubovich. The amount of 550 thousand dollars was called, but neither the bribe giver, nor the bribe taker, nor the intermediary were identified by the investigation. Which did not prevent immediately after the initiation of a criminal case “against unidentified persons”, for six months to tap the phones, and then conduct a search in the homes of Mirimskaya and her relatives. It took place without the participation of tenants and without their lawyers. The door was simply broken down, and as part of the events of April 2015 between Mirimskaya and Golubovich, all documents in the case of establishing motherhood for the period May 2015-2016 disappeared. Mirimskaya’s lawyers emphasize that this fact already clearly confirms the arguments about the presence of interested parties in this criminal case. One way or another, but as a result, the investigation obtained the first testimony against Mirimskaya.
On September 20, 2017, during the aforementioned search in the house of Olga Mirimskaya, a flash drive was “suddenly” found… with the billing phone numbers of Nikolai Smirnov’s lawyers Alexander Remov and Vadim Baturia. As a result, a second case was initiated against Mirimskaya under Article 138 (“Violation of the secrecy of telephone conversations”) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
On December 15, 2021, a new, third criminal case against Olga Mirimskaya was singled out and initiated from the materials of the previous case, as a result of which she ended up in a pre-trial detention center. According to the investigation, she personally handed over to the investigator Nosov Yu.M. a bribe in the form of two cars with a total value of 3,250,000 rubles. As a result, Mirimskaya is in a pre-trial detention center, but the investigation still cannot determine what exactly this bribe was given for.
A completely different drama at the same time unfolded around another witness in the Yukos case, Yevgeny Rybin. He owns JSC Yuzhno-Aksyutino, which is registered in Dmitrov and has been under the control of the Moscow regional tax service since 2016. The Federal Tax Service claims unpaid taxes for almost 500 million rubles, and in fact this is the sum of the company’s assets. Judging by the way events unfolded, this check could have been initiated as part of an economic dispute by Rybin’s opponent named Marugov. However, during a domestic conflict that had nothing to do with Rybin, Marugov died and the enthusiasm of the tax service staff sharply declined. But a few months later the situation changes again. Everything looks in such a way that a new and powerful interest appears in the case of JSC Yuzhno-Aksyutino and Evgeny Rybin. As a result, information appears that Dmitrov’s investigative committee is initiating a criminal case against Rybin for tax evasion on an especially large scale. Doesn’t it look like that in this process a new customer has appeared for one of the witnesses in the Yukos case to be put in jail and stripped to the skin.
It should be emphasized that during the trial in the Yukos case, Yevgeny Rybin testified that in 1998-1999 two assassination attempts were made on him, in which Leonid Nevzlin is accused of organizing. He told the court that until 1998 his company was developing two oil fields together with Tomskneft. When Tomskneft became owned by Yukos, Yevgeny Rybin had a conflict with his leadership. According to him, the reason for the conflict is “the imposition of a thieves’ money laundering scheme on us, which is absolutely unacceptable for a Western company.” “We dug up all their schemes for the movement of money through offshore, and with these materials I went to an appointment with the heads of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the FSB, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the tax police. I calculated that they stole 24 billion, but later Salavat Karimov, an investigator from the Prosecutor General’s Office, told me that officially Yukos was charged with $2 billion more,” the victim said at the time, and this message was actively quoted by the media.
At the trial, Rybin gave the following characterization to Nevzlin: “This is a man with a manic character, an unbalanced personality, capable of anything, a murderer in the truest sense of the word. And until he sits, many more people will be in danger.” Recall that Leonid Nevzlin, sentenced to life imprisonment in Russia, is hiding in Israel and is at large.