The Lawyer of Mukhtar Ablyazov Has His Residence Permit in Pretrial Detention Facility Extended

By Konstantin Voronov

The Person Involved into the BTA-Bank Case Has Remained Under Arrest


The Tver District Court of Moscow has extended the arrest of the lawyer Elena Tishchenko till February 2014, who is involved into the case of the criminal group, which stole BTA-Bank assets of 3.3 bln USD according to the investigation. Mrs. Tishchenko is blamed in organization of procedures to legalize the stolen assets in the Russian Federation.


A Ukrainian lawyer Elena Tishchenko was arrested on August 31st in the hotel, where she stayed after her arrival from Nokosia. According to the investigation department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mrs. Tishchenko was a part of the group, which has stolen the BTA-Bank assets of 3.3 bln  USD. Its general management, as the investigation considers, was performed by the ex-head of BTA-Bank Mukhtar Ablyazov, which is under arrest in France. The lawyer Tishchenko  who was the proxy of the banker, who is involved in the case, headed a division doing legalization in the Russian Federation of the assets stolen.  The investigators has initiated against Mrs. Tishchenko a case under the part 4 article 159 (serious fraud) and under the article 174.1 (legalization of stolen funds) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. On September 3rd the Tver District Court of the capital satisfied the petition of the investigation to take Mrs. Tishchenko into custody for two months, till October 31st . 


When the arrest sanction was obtained, the investigators filed charges only under the article 174.1 of the Criminal Code. Lawyers suggest, that before consideration of the case about the restraint for Mrs. Tishchenko, having included into the decision on initiation of the case under the Criminal Code on fraud, “the investigators has created the reason for arrest artificially”. "This is procedural swindling,” – note the defense attorneys.


Yesterday the Tver Court considered the application of the investigation about extension of the term of arrest of Mrs. Tishchenko to five months and nine days, i.e. till the beginning of February 2014. In order to relax the tensed atmosphere in the court room, the ex-husband of Elena Tishchenko just for a joke to exchange the ex-wife for a mother-in-law, which yesterday came from Ukraine. Only the appearance of the Judge Tatyana Neverova presiding the process gave some seriousness to the things happening. 


The Court session began with sounding of the investigation’s petition on arrest extension. The investigator substantiated the petition with that the case shall involve great amount of work: for example, to have another interrogation of Mrs. Tishchenko, to hold two face-to-face interrogations with her participation, to get her voice’s samples for phonoscopic expertise, to interrogate of no less than half a dozen witnesses, including the employees of Optima Consult company, founded by Mrs. Tishchenko. The investigation also intends to extract documents in banks, where the accounts of this company are opened. Except for that the petition notes that the reasons of the arrest of Mrs. Tishchenko are still valid – she, according to the investigation, has no residence permit in Russia (the accused is the resident of Ukraine and lives permanently in Northern Ireland), she changes the place of staying often and moves along European countries. 


The investigator Nikolay Budilo supported the petition on arrest extension. Also the policeman drew the attention of the judge to that as if Mrs. Tishchenko controls her associates from the pretrial detention facility. As if the prison guards extracted from her cell a letter, in which Elena Tishchenko asks undefined by the investigation persons to clear her skype and other communication sources. 


"This is falsification”, - declared suspect. According Elena Tishchenko, for two months of her detention in the pretrial detention facility, the investigator has incriminated het only one episode of legalization – reregistration in 2012 of the shares of a Cyprus company of 1 thousand Euro cost. Three defense attorneys in their addresses noted, that under the accusation in legalization arrest is applied exclusive cases, among which absence of domicile. The defense attorneys attached to the case materials two apartment rent contracts in the building at Presenenskaya Naberezhnaya and in the building at Mosfilm street, where Mrs. Tishchenko could have had her house arrest. “I will live in isolation, without telephone, without the Internet, with a bracelet on my foot. I won’t go anywhere. Then I will be able to cooperate normally with the investigation, to give necessary information”, - reported the suspect. As an alternative restraint the defense suggested 4- million bail. 


Having heard the parties, the judge Neverova went to the chambers. She left it in five minutes with already printed on several pages decision. The arguments of the investigation were considered by the judge to be persuasive and extended the arrest term for Mrs. Tishchenko.