“In all cases, Nevzlin gave direct instructions to Pichugin with regard to organizing murders and its carrying out”. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 23, 2004.
On this day, on July 23, 2004, the fugitive criminal Leonid Nevzlin felt a nervous creative impulse. In accordance with the most miserable traditions of poison pen letters letters, the ordering customer of murders and attempted murders Leonid Nevzlin hysterically complained to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia about “the fact of blackmail and threats” from the part of “a certain citizen Rybin” with whom he was not even acquainted”. The cynical Nevzlin complained about the man that he twice had given orders to kill.
IMITATING A VICTIM
“In recent times”, Nevzlin was scribbling to the Prosecutor General, “efforts of blackmail have become more frequent, and they have reached a rank of direct extortions and threats, thereat, not only against me, but also against people close to me”.
Then, after emotional paragraphs about arbitrational litigations with commercial structures of Yevgeny Rybin, Nevzlin, who had fled to Israel, came over to the main theme, namely, that the entrepreneur Yevgeny Rybin … was directing the investigative group. “I point out that Mr. Rybin openly declares that he is involved in Yukos problems and in problems of its shareholders. He doesn’t conceal that his criminal group has falsified materials in the case of Alexey Pichugin”.
As a basis of such heartbreaking assumptions, Leonid Nevzlin, who at that time was accused of organizing a murder, put forward the following: “On July 19, it became known to me that Mr. Rybin proceeded from threats to actions. He initiated a request “about the whereabouts of Nevzlin L.B. during his business trip” that was sent by Burtov, investigator of the Office of the Prosecutor General, to the Managing Board of the oil company Yukos”
(See also the article “On this day, the Nevzlin’s gang tried to kill Yevgeny Rybin”).
Thus, the letter, written by Leonid Nevzlin, could be seen to a greater extend as a commercial and agitation appeal. Soon, the panic letter of Nevzlin to the Office of the Prosecutor General, found its explanation”.
On July 23, 2004, the Basmanny District Court of Moscow granted a motion of the investigation and issued a second warrant for the arrest of Leonid Nevzlin and put him on the wanted list. The first arrest warrant was issued on January 15, 2004 – Nevzlin was suspected of tax evasion to the total amount of 27 416 908 rubles.
(See also the article “On this day Nevzlin, a covetous billionaire, was put on a wanted list”).
“COLLUDED WITH A PURPOSE TO KILL CERTAIN PERSONS”
The second warrant for the arrest from July 23, 2004, was dealt with downright criminal actions – a series of murders and attempted murders where Nevzlin was itemized as ordering customer and sponsor. It became known only in several days.
The Office of the Prosecutor General issue a statement for the press on this subject.
“The investigation had gathered sufficient proofs, including direct ones, that Leonid Nevzlin, being a member of the Board of Directors of the JSC Oil Company Yukos and first deputy president of the LLC “Yukos-Moskva”, entered into criminal conspiracy with Alexey Pichigin, head of the Department of inner and economic security, with a purpose to kill several persons who represented a certain danger for the company, as well as to Nevzlin and Pichugin themselves. In all these cases, Nevzlin gave direct instructions to Pichugin about organizing of murders and carrying them out”, reported the agency, pointing out that the court selected a restrictive measure for Leonid Nevzlin – placement in custody.
It’s clear that Nevzlin and his lawyers who, only yesterday, pinned written hopes on the Prosecutor Office, made a sharp U-turn and started to condemn it. The maître of advocacy Henry Reznik, in a characteristic for him manner, said “the purpose of this provocation is to discredit Yukos founding fathers”.
But the thing was that the swindlers and murderers, who turned out to be the defendants of the criminals cases over the empire of Khodorkovsky*, were not “founding fathers of Yukos” – the company was created by the government of Viktor Chernomyrdin, and the young nouveau riches “in fact, stole the shares of it”. On the other hand, one thing became clear – Nevzlin’s plaintive letter” was a dingy failed trick in his style.
(See also the article “On this day, the Moscow City Court started to examine the criminal activity of Nevzlin”).
Apart from that, on July 23, 2004, on instruction of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia, all countries were informed that Leonid Nevzlin, who had been previously put on the international wanted list, was accused of murder.
The question was about the first part of “homicide cases” – about the killing of Sergey Gorin and Olga Gorina from the town Tambov, as well as about two attempted murders.
On October 5, 1998, a battering was carried out of Viktor Kolesov, an employee of the company “Rosprom”, and on November 28, 1998, on order of Nevzlin, an attempted murder was committed of Olga Kostina, an employee of the Moscow City Hall – near the apartment of her parents a makeshift bomb went off.
In the second part of the indictments that were brought later, emerged a series of episodes of the criminal activities of Alexey Pichugin who had acted on direction of Leonid Nevzlin.
- January 21, 1998, murder of the director of the trading firm “Feniks” Valentina Korneyeva:
- June 26, 1998, murder of the mayor of the town Nefteyugansk Vladimir Petukhov;
- November 24, 1998, first attempted murder of the managing director of the company “East Petroleum Handelsgas GmbH” Yevgeny Rybin.
At the end of the day, on totality of all criminal episodes, Alexey Pichugin was sentenced to life imprisonment. The fled to Israel Leonid Nevzlin, Yukos “gray cardinal of murders”, who had given orders to commit murders and attempted murders, received in absentia his own life-long prison term.
All accusations against Pichugin and Nevzlin the courts held as proven, their verdicts became final and biding. Proceedings in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) didn’t help this “homicide couple”.
The myth that the European Court would “acquit” them of all charges turned out to be groundless. The maximum that the ECtHR could do for Pichugin was to recommend Russia, in a flowery style, to consider once more his criminal activity under the guidance of Nevzlin.
The applicant Nevzlin, in the end, received not a verdict of the ECtHR that he had counted for. The decision of the European Court of Human Rights, in fact, completely disavowed Nevzlin’s position and confirmed that the case had been considered by an unbiased court, the verdict had been based on understandable set of proofs, and that there had been no secret motives, like “political background”, that had been so diligently proposed to credulous Western society engaged by Yukos lobbyists, biased politicians and press”, noted the website Prigovor.ru.
(See also the previous article “On this day, Khodorkovsky* lied to regional press”. “Of course, we all are not saints. Neither I, no my colleagues have committed anything illegal”. Credit affair of “Yukos Capital S.a.r.l.” The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 22, 2003 and 2004).
*On May 20, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice included M.B. Khodorkovsky in the list of physical persons executing functions of a foreign agent.