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CORRUPTION AS IT IS

04.02.2014

PART I

THE BIG STORY

The tale about Trefilov would not be objective if we do not recall the "corruption" scandal. The big story was the conviction of Victor Gvozdev on charges of fraud, which in 2013 became the main basis of Trefilov’s alibi in the Russian and British media.

In this tale of "blatant extortion" the central figure and the main villain was a mere pensioner and hapless fraudster Victor Gvozdev.

For a long time Trefilov tried to accuse other employees in Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department and General Prosecutor's Office of similar involvement in his case. According to his public statements, he was repeatedly subjected to systematic extortion attempts by the law enforcement agencies.

The British justice and a number of Russian media reacted to this episode rather harshly and one-sidedly; at best - officially, they would end up limiting themselves to statements of facts of the investigation and Gvozdev’s trial.

Let us recall that Gvozdev was convicted under Art. 159 Part 4 (large scale fraud) and sentenced to 4 years' probation, having spent 8 months in Moscow’s SIZO (pretrial detention center) during the investigation.

Despite the complete consensus with the negative assessment of ex-prosecutor’s crimes, it is hard to agree with this approach on the part of the media. Such attitude distorts the impartial proceedings in respect of Trefilov himself and his actions, not to mention casts a shadow of doubt on the Russian law enforcement employees, who were not involved in the crime of V. Gvozdev.

The scheme in itself is not new. It helps to avoid legal punishment and allows criminals to hide the traces of their scams by conducting compromising provocations against the investigating authorities.

If successful, it is always accompanied by loud media publications that create the public opinion so important for the customer - a victim of "lawlessness" in need of support. Without taking into account the personality and deeds of the "victim", the figurant is almost always guaranteed a public amnesty.

And in the end this does more harm to the country than good - as the routine approach and the journalistic pursuit for "hot" facts often are no help in fighting social evil. Rather, they contribute to the formation of an opinion on one side that corruption in Russia and the entire country's legal judicial system are supposedly inseparable, while at the same time making it appear to the other side that wanted criminals to avoid trial flee in droves to UK, by cleverly taking advantage of the opportunities in the European legal system.

Additionally it is insinuated that in Russia everyone is accustomed to this state of affairs and no one practically tries to punish the corrupt officials in uniform and bribe takers, who are being “concealed” instead (protecting the “esprit de corps”), which in itself is terrible and way worse than the frauds of Gvozdev and Trefilov put together.

With such a pitch, the truth does appear on the side of Trefilov and other dubious businessmen, providing them in turn with the moral rights to impunity, which they use as they please.

To better illustrate, let us quote from Trefilov’s interview with the Russian service BBC, where he tries to justify his position in life and his crime using “aphorisms”:
•    “Law does not work in the country, there is no legitimate base.”
•    “Law is like a shaft of a cart, it points wherever you turn it to”,
•    “Every official in his place invents his own law”,
•    “I always compare a businessman in Russia to a bogatyr”.
•    “… Go right – lose your horse, left – you will die, and if forward you go – both you and your horse will die. And here (in Russia) respectively, to the left – police, to the right – prosecutor’s office, in front – bandits; and then a voice from above: If you stay here, you will get it here…”

Armed with this "mantra” and using against his enemies (investigators and creditors) like a magic talisman the Gvozdev case, Trefilov is still at large and, furthermore, is sympathised with. Mostly so because he accuses Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department of bias in their investigation and corruption, while Gvozdev is presented as a full-grown blackmailer, who, from his words, is "concealed by the system that does not hand over one of its own."

 

EXTORTIONIST or FRAUDSTER?

As proof of him being a victim of Russian corruption, Trefilov introduced to the Westminster Court of London three audio records of talks with Gvozdev, which were made by his representative G. Usupashvili, and a video with his participation. These entries were also posted on the Internet.

 We learn the following from the published content - a former employee of the General Prosecutor Office, Viktor Gvozdev, after receiving in December 2011 an advance from Trefilov’s representative for providing possible assistance to Trefilov ($ 50.000), comes to a meeting with his relative Usupashvili; it is worth mentioning that at first (1st conversation, March 1 2012) he says that the process of "resolving the issue" is actively going ahead, but then the next time (April 2 2012) he postpones indefinitely not only the decision on this matter, but any and all negotiations about it.

The third and last conversation on the subject occurred after more than half a year between Gvozdev and Trefilov himself. At that time Gvozdev has already managed to safely retire from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

To recall, their discussion was about the requalification of an article in the charges against Trefilov for a less serious one. So the Article 159 "Fraud" would become Article 176 "Illegal receipt of credit", and Gvozdev promised to negotiate with the heads of the Interior Ministry to make this possible.

However, in every conversation Gvozdev would talk of some sort of circumstances in the way. He would sometimes show fake "sympathy" and even "concern", while continuing to come up with reasons why the decision about Trefilov’s issue should be postponed. Then Gvozdev would leave, apparently convinced that the situation is under his control.

These “negotiations” continued for a YEAR, and the longer Gvozdev was away from the affairs of the Ministry (Gvozdev retired in April 2012) the less encouraging became his generously interspersed with insults “consultations”.

In fact, on April 2 Gvozdev "closes" the subject by openly declaring its finality. He said: "Wait means wait". The conversation with Usupashvili ended with the phrase: "We have to wait. May, June, ... In the end there might be something I can do [on the condition that there will be a change in leadership of the Investigation Department - Yagudin, Lapshov and others]". This plainly tells of Gvozdev’s uncertainty in achieving the desired by Trefilov result and actually denies the statement given in the Westminster court of London about extortion on the part of said high-ranking officials - Lapshov, Churashkin (from the complete recording of the conversation it is made clear that they believe Trefilov to be a fraudster), and investigator Konovalova, who, according to Gvozdev, obeys the management and "does not decide anything herself".

*Full versions of the conversations can be found on Kompromat.ru. We only publish excerpts due to excessive levels of profanity contained in the texts.

The same officials of the Investigative Department and the General Prosecutor’s Office would at first allegedly “agree in principle to help, even without an appearance [by fugitive Trefilov in Moscow]”, then he would need to appear for questioning after all, and in the next conversation – Gvozdev’s only hope is a change of management.

For all the "wealth" of Gvozdev’s vocabulary (it is worth mentioning that his speech is a mixture of slang used exclusively in working-class suburbs and by employees of the penitentiary system), same could not be said about the quality of content that was given by the "savior - extortionist" in his information. From the point of view of legal norms of the Russian Federation, the advice that the "corrupt official" gave Usupashvili, and hence Trefilov, was confusing and illiterate, sometimes even illogical, and gave all the signs of a 100 percent fraud on the part of the former prosecutor. Yet it is difficult to suspect of legal ignorance a person with a track record of 30 years in the Interior Ministry.

In particular, it is noteworthy that the content of the Application (which is a Claim and an Appeal, from the words of Gvozdev, simultaneously. Note - in Russia these are completely different concepts and types of documents), that was to be prepared by Trefilov’s lawyer following Gvozdev’s "recommendations", is not only contrary to the law of the Russian Federation and does not have any actual power (about which Victor Pavlovich clearly knows), but also has to be transferred to Gvozdev directly, who by that time was already retired (!).

Everything must go through him alone. This requirement makes it doubtful that this way the documents would reach their destination, i.e. the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (apparently due to another obvious falsehood, the documents mentioned have not been submitted through the "reception" of Viktor Pavlovich, and neither the ex-official nor Trefilov’s relative  have anything else to add about the making of this questionable Application).

Furthermore, during two conversations Gvozdev carefully insists that Trefilov should still come to Moscow to give a truthful testimony and plead guilty to Article 176, even considering that it is such a high probability of arrest for Trefilov (he is wanted by Interpol since 2011). Thus, we can assume that Gvozdev was not going to help Trefilov at all or even provide a relatively innocuous legal support. According to an excerpt of their conversation, Gvozdev did not even read Trefilov’s Case (?).

It is significant that Gvozdev, having "negotiated" with his superiors, suddenly brings the negotiations with Usupashvili to a standstill. He changes (usually upward) the requested amount of the "bribe", and then he immediately raises questions and protests against it, telling Usupashvili to "bargain, as this is a market", to "put the money into a [safety deposit] box, so as not to get tricked" and other similar nonsense.

It is obvious that if Gvozdev was really taking bribes, there would be a mechanism for transfer of large sums of money that was firmly-established and under serious control - none of the "exotic methods" involving banking institutions should even be brought up here. And if he wanted to get more money, he probably would not provoke a "customer" into debates about the value of a bribe to a mythical supervisor...

Besides this is about the transfer of bribes and not the selling of apartments (in Russia a widespread method for mutual settlements is the purchase – sale of real estate).

Using a bank in Russia in such circumstances is obviously impossible. Since we are talking about Gvozdev and Usupashvili, the transaction would not be legitimate; hence involving deposit boxes for bribe transfers is very risky (especially so for Gvozdev).

Remains completely unclear what these two parties, who both have access to the vault and the keys to it, could possibly prescribe in the mandatory tripartite Agreement with the Bank as a condition for admission to the deposit box with the money?

What documents could Gvozdev bring with him to the bank to withdraw money (for himself and supposedly his superiors)? Would it be the Decision to drop criminal proceedings against Trefilov under Article 159 or the Requalification of articles in the charges against Trefilov?

And if the access to the deposit box was left with one of them (for example Gvozdev’s trustee) until the issue has been solved, then how would the so-called "Transaction" between them be safer and what would prevent one of the parties being cheated?

The absurdity of this “business proposal” for the purposes of “security” needs no proof.

This may seem pointless. But there is meaning behind it – Gvozdev was trying to buy more time until his retirement, so that he could distance himself from this case. And that is why he imitated “activity” to deceive Trefilov, while in reality he wasn’t going to do anything. After receiving his “prepayment” through an intermediary, he would try to bury the unsolvable issue by tricking Trefilov, changing the conditions of the deal, talking about big payments to be made ($500.000 supposedly “for the bosses”) with no guarantees – thus complicating the “negotiation process” and forsaking his previous promises.

Note: There was never any pressure or threats made by Gvozdev against Trefilov. What’s more, at times you can clearly hear that the whole situation weighs on him. No wonder, in the course of conversation with Usupashvili he suddenly, without cause, strayed and started to talk with unnecessary detail about his financial problems (which are similar to the case, by the way, as Gvozdev is trying to return money too). He continued explaining that if it wasn’t for the debts, he would have never gotten involved in this matter, or literally “I’d rather have slept well”.

A quote from Gvozdev: “No money is needed then…” and “God forbid, there might be a set up too… All I want in this situation is to just get out” (from conversation on March 1 2012), - here he repeatedly and plainly states that he is afraid.

We believe that such kind of talk has nothing in common with cynical extortion or corruption, but is rather a consequence of Gvozdev’s uncertainty and stress from realising his situation and understanding what has happened, as a result of which he transgressed moral norms and committed fraud in its classic form. (This, by the way, is reminiscent of Trefilov’s “re-crediting”, where he attracted more and more new loans to pay off old debts, thus building a “Ponzi scheme”, which led to an investigation and then him fleeing to UK after being accused of fraud).

Trefilov’s relative Usupashvili tried to help by recording the two conversations and during the illegal meetings attempted to set Gvozdev "necessary" leading questions. He would also utter (out of place) names of those leaders of the Interior Ministry, which were within the scope of interests and conflicts to Trefilov, so that the recording was as convincing as possible when creating future evidence for Trefilov’s "innocence" in the eyes of the English court, which would be deciding the question of his extradition to Russia.

But during this task Usupashvili was timid and struggled to steer the conversation back on the needed track [and actually build a constructive conversation] when talking with an experienced and competent police official (Gvozdev). Because of that he was forced to agree with all of Gvozdev’s "inferences", align with him on the matter, apparently in order not to scare him off, and not dispute anything with his companion, even when Gvozdev [while watching him] talked complete nonsense.

Realizing that he won’t be able to independently gain from Gvozdev the full "invoice" for the charges, he nevertheless was able to persuade him to talk directly with Trefilov via Skype, after which the game moved into the territory of criminal and judicial proceedings in the United Kingdom and Russia.

This way throughout the year Trefilov tried to gather incriminating material on a group of employees of the Interior Ministry and the General Prosecutor’s Office. From his words, he was “trying to catch them in the act”[extortion] (RBC August 28 2013 “When I feel into a trap”).

But this version is refuted by the very questions he asked the ex-official on Skype. He literally pressured and took out of Gvozdev, as if with pincers, the names of Interior Ministry superiors, so that he could later allege their involvement in the “deal”. This makes the whole operation look more like a planned provocation than a gathering of evidence. And this in itself speaks volumes.

From all of the conversations we can conclude that an unlawful relationship was intentionally created between Usupashvili the mediator and Gvozdev, primarily in the interests of Trefilov himself. Among other things this is indicated by the length of “association”, as Trefilov gives the Statement about Gvozdev’s actions (in Russia and UK) only one YEAR later, after transferring him a large sum and not at the time of said transfer.

Trefilov couldn’t fail to notice that year that Gvozdev was “leading him by the nose”. From his own words, he had experience in negotiations of this kind, as he had repeat contact with the siloviki. Furthermore, by his own admission Trefilov, during the many years of doing business, paid for “protection” and so on. (See the story about the representatives of law enforcement agencies in BBC and RBC Daily).

Additionally, there is evidence from reliable sources that neither Gvozdev nor Konovalova have initiated the "dialogue" with Trefilov. The businessman's lawyer V. Oganesyan, who represented his interests, was the one to start the initial talks with Gvozdev, and then the rest of the operation was taken over by Trefilov’s relative.

The same lawyer represented Trefilov in the "Prodmak" case with Maxim Vasiliev and was also seeking to make a criminal case against the ex-politician (2007).

Obviously, Trefilov’s motive was to orchestrate the story with Gvozdev and obtain some necessary "evidence" (which was in fact just leverage on legal institutions) to defend his interests, especially in the case of the extradition request by the General Prosecutor's Office.

Seeing as no one else would deal with Trefilov, V. Gvozdev would prove enough, as well as all the essentially illegal and empty promises and just pure nonsense he told Trefilov on tape.

 

JUSTICE, TREFILOV STYLE

 

As follows from the same transcripts, for the money received Gvozdev has not provided any new or "confidential" information to Trefilov. The facts that he "gave" Usupashvili to pass along had hardly any operational value.

Trefilov knew without Gvozdev’s help the names of the department heads, as well as the fact that an active investigation and an article requalification (from Article 176 to Article 159 Part 4 of the Criminal Code) occurred in his case after Interior Minister Nurgaliyev received an official request in respect of the case against the MARTA Holding, which described the circumstances of the applicants asking to affect the slow and inefficient work of the investigation.

As Gvozdev said, the offended Banks tried their best, as the amount of credit unpaid by Trefilov caused major damage, while the circumstances of obtaining that credit prevented the victims from compensating their losses with debtor’s property. The equipment within the outlets, which served as collateral, already had several loans attached to it or belonged to Trefilov’s German partner.

After the Appeal from bank executives the old investigative team was replaced with a new one, led by Lieutenant Colonel Irina Konovalova, an experienced investigator best known for investigation of resonant and complex cases. Other members of the newly formed investigative team were seconded from different regions of Russia.

Thus active investigation work has begun: gathering of evidence, expert analysis of documents and cross-examination of MARTA’s staff. And the results after six months did not speak in favor of Trefilov. In autumn of 2010, when the charges were changed by Konovalova, he hastily left the country (he was warned about the presentation of the new charges and possible arrest).

Several examinations were still to take place. But judging by the comments of Gvozdev, the possible results of these examinations would be “alarming” for Trefilov.

Konovalova, however, in 2 years’ time managed to find abundant evidence, which made the businessman use great effort to try and remove the inconvenient investigator from the case.

You just need to try and understand Trefilov’s logic - when he initiates an Appeal as a result of his business-problems and conflicts with M. Vasiliev - it's legal, but when the Banks and other partners demand to investigate where their money is - it's illegal.

When M. Vasiliev and his co-workers are put behind bars, regardless of disputable evidence or newly discovered facts (which are in favor of the accused and their defense) - it is a triumph of justice (?). Then when Trefilov himself might be imprisoned – he says things like: - "I am not a hero, so in such a situation I could not remain in the country" (RBC August 28 2013 "When I fell into a trap").

There is probably some justice (legitimacy) in the fact that the Official Appeal was sent by the already familiar with the situation Gennady Gudkov, who was asked to help this time by the deceived representatives of the largest banks in the country, which raises the question: on what basis does Trefilov always talk about bias in his case?

Some mass media have provided a platform for Trefilov to launch attacks on disliked by him investigators, witnesses in criminal and civil cases, ex-partners. They all but actually took over the functions of lawyers by confirming unproven facts.

And despite the fact that he has nothing but conjectures of lawyers and opinions made by Judge Nicholas Evans, about the involvement of Gvozdev’s colleagues in "extortion", Trefilov still tried to look for ways to collapse his criminal case, not hesitating to do anything.

Therefore, next thing to happen was pouring of dirt on Russia, investigators and former colleagues in the media, as well as the Westminster court; folk sayings, confabulations about ministers, public calls to country’s rulers, well-known names, that have little to none relation to Trefilov, and even the 79th position in the ranking of FORBES (2011), which doesn’t belong to him.

Trefilov is bankrupt since 2008. The history with the ranking is hardly a coincidence, since the image of a bankrupt businessman is simply not compatible with the format of some publications, in which he gave "exclusive" interview. The fact of long-term bankruptcy does not give weight to his words and statements, especially in the West, even under such information pretext as the use of a false passport in the country that provided legal support.

 

MISSLEADINGS AND SEMANTICS

 

Let us return to Gvozdev. All of the outlined circumstances and findings were taken into account when the court in Russia made its judgement against him. Gvozdev (logically) was recognized guilty of fraud, to which he already agreed during the investigation.

Among the facts is the Skype call with Gvozdev recorded by Trefilov. Quite noticeable is the evasive behavior of Gvozdev. He would always cover his mouth and glance around: firstly, the gesture speaks of dishonesty and cowardice; secondly, he may have suspected that Trefilov was recording the call and attempted to complicate the possible future identification of his speech. When talking on a street with Usupashvili, Gvozdev would more than once lower his voice and ask to talk “quietly" and "without names", telling his companion - "What if someone is listening?".

Such quirks raise the question of how can Gvozdev appear to be a raider or even a confident of impunity, brazen and corrupt official, who is supposedly "backed up" by the top brass that endorses his actions?

Gvozdev’s behaviour is not typical of an experienced bribe-taker - he is unsure in what he is saying (can’t remember what he said last time?), very unclear and has a guilty look about him.

In addition, he is already a pensioner (about which he prefers not to tell Usupashvili or Trefilov), and, accordingly, he does not have the former authority and influence in the Russian Interior Ministry. And most importantly - he names large sums of money ($ 1 million), but the process for their transfer is left incomplete; throughout the year Gvozdev did not make any serious attempt to get the money (actually, there was no compelling justification to do so). On the contrary, it seems that having received the "advance", Gvozdev tries to avoid contact with Trefilov and his representative.

But the British Justice issued an unambiguous verdict in favor of Trefilov, calling everything that to him happened "a horrific example of corruption in Russia". And we think that's because...

Of course, not knowing the infinite variety of the Russian language (and thinking in English), Judge Nicholas Evans, who lives in the monarchical UK, could not, by definition, understand all of the existing nuances and fully comprehend what was happening.

The situation, that we describe, is unambiguously clear only for native Russian speakers and in this case is a lot like a bad anecdote from the life of prosecutors, a silly "tale" or maybe a small-criminal story from a second-rate American film about the life of a scam artist. Everything said by Gvozdev is in fact so absurd and stupid, that it can cause nothing but same silly laughter in a Russian that listens to it, except maybe for outrage that a police official would even allow himself such an act and a clearly criminal "game".

But a Brit, who is also a lawyer and a judge, would not share such an opinion, if only because of the difference in thinking and mentality, and most importantly, the variance between the Russian and European legal logic and other important legal principles and basis.

We assume, that the direct translation of the idiomatic expressions used by the ex-prosecutor (!) would make him lose consciousness all together, especially considering the descriptions of possible abuse, in perverted form, to be done to Trefilov [in case he agrees to the charges against him according to Article 176 of the Criminal Code and signs written confessions upon arrival in Moscow] and the threats to the lives of intermediaries representing his interests. These are the conclusions that the experts had to reach after the direct English translation of Gvozdev’s speech.

Culture experts and linguists are not involved (except in very difficult situations) in such cases. Considering that the explanation was given by Trefilov and his lawyers, when submitting evidence in court (which can be seen from the Notes to the published records made by them), the opinion of the British court was formed under serious influence of a stakeholder.

Of course, it is impossible to explain to any judicial system the terminology used by the part of mankind that works in law enforcement of our country. Not to mention, the mentality, that forms this language with all its nuances, "black" humor, and sometimes absolutely infantile "cynicism".

It is also a well-known fact that in UK Trefilov used the services of an international law firm «Peters & Peters», which specializes in such matters. The cost for legal representation, of course, is not cheap – £500-700 per hour, but freedom - is priceless... The experienced lawyers wisely took advantage of the definite ambiguity of the situation. And so Trefilov was not handed over to the Russian authorities, because the court was guided by the fundamental principles of the law and the presumption of innocence.

In any case, Gvozdev’s actions are not justifiable by these arguments. The reputational damage that he has caused the country, and the mentioned individuals, has, unfortunately, been dealt by the very fact of such "relationship" between the ex-prosecutor and the defendant, as well as the fraud committed by Gvozdev in the amount of $ 50,000.

But we are past talking about him (he got his just sentence and returned the money to the victim). It is time we talk about Trefilov, the groundlessly discredited by him employees of Interior Ministry and other participants of the case.

 

I. KONOVALOVA and the attack on those, who “vex” Trefilov

 

On December 13 2012 Gvozdev was arrested. Then on December 15 Tverskoy court extended the arrest of the ex-prosecutor.

Trefilov erupted with dozens of angry publications both in the mass media and on the internet. By receiving, through efforts of Usupashvili, compromising materials on the senior (albeit former) official, he won not only the court in Britain for his extradition, but also won a moral victory – the British authorities have imposed a penalty on Russia in favor of Trefilov in the amount of $ 1 million. Russia did not pay this penalty, having disagreed with the imposed burden. But having achieved a further investigation of the case and using the scandal in the Interior Ministry, Trefilov decided not to rest on his laurels and continued the attack.

Indeed, Trefilov would not be Trefilov if he didn’t try to go further.

For 2-3 months there were continued discussions and fabrications, which at time became slander on the internet, in relation to I. Konovalova, P. Lapshov, S. Churashkin and others. And all of them came down to same point - "London Court is in horror" or "The signal came from London". The story was mostly picked up by tabloid and yellow press.

Within the "slim version" again begin to appear the names of his former business partners as the commissioners of the "persecution" against Trefilov and, interestingly, all at once too.

The theme was picked up by the journalists of liberal media and then affiliated bloggers, who would replicate and distribute the information that Trefilov needed, but which did not correspond to reality at all or was presented in a favorable for him light.

From these materials only one conclusion follows - Trefilov has nothing close to criminal about him, only honor, truth and accomplishments.

While accusing of all his troubles the Investigative Department, they always refer to the verdict of Judge Evans, who had not (and could not have) anything to do with the investigation in respect of Gvozdev or other employees of the Interior Ministry, and only solved the issue of Trefilov’s extradition.

And so, against the background of the scandal and in good information conditions, the Mediavirus has spread.

As part of the investigation of the V. Gvozdev case, investigators and employees of the Investigative Department were brought in to testify, including I. Konovalova, who was given the status of "suspect" for a time.

Since Konovalova was the leader of the investigative team, which was actively engaged in the Trefilov case since the end of 2009, it was natural to assume that Trefilov would want to refute all the results of the investigation by using compromising materials and dramatic statements (he had nothing to lose anyway).

Konovalova retired at the end of 2012. Trefilov needed Gvozdev, apparently, in order to cast a shadow of doubt on her in the first place (they knew each other link http://pasmi.ru/arcgive/78426). And so to this end they recorded every word of the ex-prosecutor, taking advantage of his talkative nature and financial dependence from the situation.

During the interrogation Gvozdev confessed that he wanted to cheat Trefilov out of selfish motives and could not really help him in reality. In the examination with Konovalova he testified that his actions were not coordinated with anyone and conducted alone. After a thorough investigation, in autumn 2013 all suspicions against Konovalova were assuredly dropped. ("Kommersant" 04.02.2014).

But the press hounding did not stop there. A dozen voices could probably gain momentum, but solo performances could not become a chorus – as luck would have it, 2 months after his victory, Trefilov gets put behind bars. What else can be said here, except as the saying goes - "A guilty mind betrays itself…"

 

GONE IS THE “THEME”

By the time of his arrest, Trefilov got himself a kind of "public defenders", mostly some journalists and bloggers. One of them, a journalist from "Novaya Gazeta", Irek Murtazin was apparently passionately interested in his own significance, and so came up with a kind of alibi and an excuse for Trefilov’s crime  - saying, the businessman had to secretly meet with this reporter to give him secret information about corruption in Russia and then, because of fear of arrest, he used another person’s passport.

It turns out that Trefilov in early February 2013 complained to I. Murtazin that "Gvozdev’s case is nearing full stop", that they do not want to accuse Gvozdev of extortion, etc., all because within the Interior Ministry there is, apparently, some sort of corporate conspiracy.

MEDIAVIRUS

"Explanatory notes" of Murtazin. SIGNATURE: MEDIAVIRUS. All underlined is false information. 79th ranking in FORBES 2011 belongs to A. Kosogov, and not Trefilov. None of the existing financial ratings for 2011 even mention G. Trefilov. The last time Trefilov was seen in the rankings was in 2008 (see. Media section)

Irek Murtazin Minzakievich - a journalist and blogger of Tatar descent, a political activist and a special correspondent for "Novaya Gazeta". Gained a reputation as a specialist in "media propaganda" and black PR, as a result of a major scandal that arose after he deliberately posted on his blog false information about the sudden death of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev (September 12 2008). Among other things, the message contained information that made the company shares of "Tatneft" crash on the stock exchange in the same day. In September 2008, following a statement by M. Shaimiev about bringing the journalist to justice for his defamation and dissemination of discrediting information, a criminal case was made - firstly against the unidentified persons, and then in December 2008 against Murtazin. He was charged with "inciting hatred or enmity, as well as the humiliation of human dignity on the basis of belonging to a social group "government officials" committed publicly, through use of media with the threat of violence, defamation and breach of privacy". Murtazin was found guilty of defamation (Part 2 of Article 129 of the Criminal Code) and inciting hatred or enmity on grounds of belonging to a particular social group (Part 1 of Article 282 of the Criminal Code). He was sentenced to serving the sentence for a term of 1 year and 9 months in the penal colony settlement. Murtazin was released in 2011.

See below comments to the underlined text.

Trefilov did not support this crazy idea (preferring to use his wife’s illness instead) - so ridiculous was the version proposed by the journalist. Not only was there nothing preventing them from conducting their meetings in Britain but also in the 21st century there are hundreds of ways for secure transfer of information over a great many distances.

There is cynical deceit right on the surface – because Trefilov was detained upon ENTRY into UK, which means on the way back from his trip to Spain - respectively, what could in this case prevent their meeting [with Murtazin] outside the UK?

The written material was the result of ignorance and misinformation on the part of Murtazin – the Russian news agencies did not confirm the information and at first reported that Trefilov was arrested while trying to LEAVE the host country - UK (e.g. IA Rosbalt March 29 2013).

Especially strange is his phrase about the close cooperation with Trefilov and his lawyers...

Nevertheless, the "honest" journalist and guardian of the law, without hesitation, wrote: "Our meeting with Trefilov was thwarted (?! Rather odd way to think) by the British border guards when Trefilov tried to LEAVE (?) the country...” Then he added to it, saying that Gvozdev was arrested, but "only on charges of mere fraud”.

To note, it is a shame that they disrupted your meeting, but is it not common practice in this case to write a refutation. And tell us, in your life full of human rights wars have you not heard of civil rights, such as the presumption of innocence?

Or are these rights supposed to be enforced only in the case of Trefilov? Do Gvozdev and other members of the Interior Ministry not have these civil rights?

AND, ACTUALLY, THE MAIN QUESTION TO YOU: DON’T YOUR VIEWS HINDER YOU WHEN FIGHTING AGAINST LAW VIOLATIONS, if the actions of the Border Service in the UK are accompanied by your questionable comments, while the information about the alleged direct involvement of the Investigative Department and the Prosecutor General's Office in the scandalous case you are trying to pass off as the absolute truth, pending the court decisions in Russia?

Upon reading Murtazin’s articles the following questions arise:

What does "the case is nearing full stop" mean? Gvozdev was arrested on 13 December 2012 and was put in the pre-trial detention center, nothing more could be done. Does this mean that contrary to the wishes and interests of Trefilov the only one arrested was Gvozdev?

The article is clearly an attempt to put pressure on the investigation.

To confirm this, Murtazin quotes Trefilov: "What kind of objective investigation can be discussed if it is under the control of the very employees of the Interior Ministry, which Gvozdev referred to when he extorted money from me?"

Could it be that neither Trefilov nor Murtazin knew that in principle this is legally impossible?

And what about the fact that the employees (whose names Trefilov and Usupashvili rather extracted from Gvozdev, than have him "refer" to them) by the beginning of 2013 haven’t worked in the Investigative Department for at least six months and could not control the investigation into Gvozdev’s case? Was this also not known to them?

Konovalova left at the end of 2012, Gvozdev was arrested, while already on pension and P. Lapshov (who right now has a law practice) retired in the fall of 2012, being on sick leave up to that point.

Also in early October 2012 the entire Investigative Unit of the Interior Ministry has been removed in connection with the "organizational and staffing changes". This was reported in detail by the media, including Rosbalt on October 29 2012, in the article "Magnitsky case was left without investigators".

It is obvious that Trefilov mistimed, when he was asking a leading question about the possible involvement of Lapshov in the "case", during the conversation with Gvozdev on Skype. The video shows that during this last conversation Gvozdev was sitting in a car, warmly dressed (in a winter jacket) – so most likely this was in November-December of 2012.

There is another interesting detail - between the lines was “thrown in" a piece of disinformation - "A GROUP OF POLICE OFFICIALS WAS INVOLVED IN EXTORTION" - meaning, not just Gvozdev, but the whole department.

Aside from this, - different types of media have repeatedly pointed out several facts indicating contradictions in Trefilov’s position about the case.

1. Once Gvozdev was arrested, in an article from Novaya Gazeta 19 December 2012, written by I. Murtazin, Trefilov commented with the following: "I think that only Gvozdev will be convicted. Frankly I feel sorry for him, because he was just a switchman... now if they managed to unwind the whole chain...”

2. In the beginning of February 2013, he proceeds to seemingly complain to Murtazin that “Gvozdev’s case is coming to full stop", because "It is in the control of those who Gvozdev referred to when extorting money ..."

3. From BBC May 16 2013 Trefilov - Antonenko: "I believe that the charges against me are still yet to be proven, as a series of assessments were not carried out.”

4. RBC August 28 2013, Trefilov pointed out that "really nothing has changed in his case, no new examinations set, nothing at all."

5. At the same time, it was repeatedly noted in the media that the investigation of the Gvozdev case was complicated by the fact that Trefilov, despite the requests sent by the General Prosecution to Britain, refused to take part in the investigation as a victim, either during the inquiry or during court.

6. When the time came to sentencing (suspended sentence) in Tverskoy court, on January 24 2014, in respect of Gvozdev, it was taken into account that Trefilov was fully reimbursed for damages and that Trefilov personally asked the court for leniency to the ex-prosecutor.

Now it becomes clear that Gvozdev was not the target (and therefore, no extortionist and no group of conspirators). Trefilov aimed for someone else and missed.

The whole activity was built, as can be seen, around the "bargaining" with the investigation, conducting examinations (the importance of a "safety net" with these examinations was emphasized by Gvozdev among others), reviewing of the case, the cancellation of the international search. It seems that the media pressure on the authorities of the Interior Ministry was done with a specific purpose.

As for the "sensational news" and "the tug of war", judging by only two materials from Trefilov’s typical PR support – a saying comes to mind: "Like father, like son."

Stuff like the fake ranking in 2011’s richest, the three times “bloated” by “lawyers” prices of long-dead assets (all official sources denied the estimate of $ 1.5 billion by at least 2-3 times), the supposedly “accidentally” said phrase “Trefilov owned RTM”, - all of these become no longer worth mentioning. It is quite clear now that all of it is just cheap tricks.

ALL OF THE PRESENTED FACTS CAN BE FOUND IN THE OPEN ACCESS ARCHIVES OF VEDOMOSTI, KOMMERSANT AND ROSBALT.

 

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