1 June 2021
By Pavel Chikov, head of the Agora international human rights group
Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Ekho Moskvy, 1.06.2021]
A criminal investigation into alleged large-scale financial harm through deception or breach of trust (Article 165, Section 2, Point ‘b’ of the Russian Criminal Code) was opened on 28 April. It was initiated by a senior investigator at the 10th department of the organised crime investigations unit of the Moscow police.
The ruling states that, on 8 October 2015, “unidentified persons from among the directors and actual owners of Sector-2A Ltd (headed by Dmitry Gudkov’s aunt, Irina Ermilova), out of self-interest and with the criminal intent of causing financial damage to the Moscow city property department through the breach of trust of the department’s employees, concluded, on behalf of Sector 2A Ltd, on the one hand, and the department, on the other, an additional agreement to the contract, on the basis of which it follows that the company took out a lease on the non-residential premises for use as an office until 30 June 2025”.
The rent was 9052 roubles/m2. According to the investigators, the company “had no real intention of fulfilling its obligations to pay the rent and planned to use the above premises at its own discretion”.
The department asked for the rental arrears to be paid, but the document states that the company did not fulfil its obligation to pay the rent. According to investigators, the organisation used the premises at its own discretion and entered into a rental agreement with an “affiliated organisation, receiving income from these activities”.
The investigators believe that the company has failed to pay “in excess of 1,000,000 roubles, which is damage on a large scale”.
There were no suspects in the investigation when the criminal case was opened – it was initiated against unidentified persons.
In a post on Facebook, Ermilova’s lawyer has also said what her client is suspected of.
Translated by Nicky Brown