Assassination attempt on Volgograd governor dragged on for 20 years

In the Southern District Military Court (YuOVS) in Rostov-on-Don, a debate began on the criminal case of the former head of the investigation department (SU) of the TFR in the Volgograd region and the current assistant to the chairman of the TFR for special assignments, Lieutenant General of Justice Mikhail Muzraev, as well as businessman Vladimir Zubkov . They are charged with an attempt on the life of the Governor of the Volgograd region Andrey Bocharov. The state prosecution stated that it considers the guilt of the defendants proven and asked to sentence the general to 20 years in prison, and the businessman to 15 years. The defense believes that evidence of the involvement of Mikhail Muzraev and Vladimir Zubkov in the crimes imputed to them during the process was never presented.

The legal investigation in the criminal case of General of the ICR Mikhail Muzraev and his alleged accomplice, the owner of Volgograd restaurants and cafes Vladimir Zubkov, has ended in the YUOVS. In the debate, as Mikhail Muzraev’s lawyer Andrei Grokhotov told Kommersant, both prosecutors participating in the process (one from Moscow, the other from Rostov-on-Don) spoke before the troika of military judges, each spoke about certain episodes of the case. At the same time, the state prosecutors jointly and severally stated that they consider the guilt of the defendants proven.

Representatives of the prosecutor’s office proposed to sentence the defendant Muzraev to 20 years in a strict regime colony with the deprivation of his class rank, special rank and state awards, and the defendant Zubkov to 15 years in a strict regime colony.

Only one of Vladimir Zubkov’s lawyers managed to speak on behalf of the defense, the rest, as well as the defendants themselves, will present their position on March 2.

Recall that both Mikhail Muzraev and Vladimir Zubkov are charged with committing a terrorist act (Article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), and separately, the general is also charged with abuse of official powers (Article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and illegal circulation of ammunition (Article 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

As a terrorist attack, the investigation qualified the attempt on the life of the Governor of the Volgograd region Andrey Bocharov, committed in November 2016. According to the case file, General Muzraev, who since 1996 held the position of deputy prosecutor of the Volgograd region, and since 2007 – the head of the regional Investigative Committee of the ICR, had a powerful influence on the local elite, pursuing his shadow economic interests. According to investigators, the general’s ambitions were thwarted by Governor Andrei Bocharov, who, since 2014, has been pursuing a policy independent of the security official in the region. In the fall of 2016, General Muzraev allegedly transmitted through his trusted person Vladimir Zubkov (Zubok) to businessman Yevgeny Remezov an order to organize an undermining or arson of the governor’s house in the village of Latoshynka. He entrusted the execution of the task to his guards. On the night of November 16, the performers set fire to the wall of a wooden house, having previously poured 10 liters of gasoline on it, but the fire could not flare up, because the logs were treated with protective agents. The arsonists who pleaded guilty and Yevgeny Remezov have already been convicted.

Earlier, the general stated that the criminal case against him was based on false testimony of the former director of the Central Market of Volgograd, Yevgeny Remezov, and his accomplices, whom he, Mikhail Muzraev, “prosecuted in accordance with the procedure established by law.” He also emphasized that he had no conflicts with the governor and personally ordered to open a case on the fact of setting fire to the house and the attempt on the life of the official and members of his family. The general called the accusation of abuse of office “an invention of the investigation.”

According to lawyer Andrey Grokhotov, the defense will demand full acquittal of the defendants. Mikhail Muzraev himself prepared an extensive presentation with a detailed analysis of all the evidence. “In our opinion, over more than a year and a half of hearings in court, the prosecution was unable to provide evidence of the guilt of the defendants,” Andrey Grokhotov said. He also noted that the already convicted arsonists initially spoke only about Yevgeny Remezov as the customer who ordered the arson of the governor’s house, and then unexpectedly abruptly changed their testimony. Moreover, as the defense notes, Yevgeny Remezov himself, who also made confessions, received in court for a terrorist attack and other crimes only 6 years in prison, although only Art. 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation provides for at least 12 years.

The defense also claims that it managed to refute a number of arguments of the prosecution, which were based on billing of telephone connections, as well as to reject the argument that General Muzraev allegedly had some political ambitions that could become a motive for the assassination – in this matter, the position of the lawyers is confirmed, according to them , including the correspondence of the governor and the head of the Investigative Committee of the TFR and other documents. “My client, due to his age and chronic diseases, is not in very good health, but he is very cheerful and will defend his good name, there can be no question of any change in position,” lawyer Grokhotov concluded.

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