National Trial Chamber of Spain announced a verdict for 12 defendants in a criminal trial of the so-called Russian mafia. Six of the defendants, headed by one of the most influential authorities of the Russian criminal world Zakhary Kalashovov (Shakro-young) were sentenced to imprisonment for terms ranging from two to seven and a half years and to large fines. Others, including the famous Russian lawyer Alexander Gofshtein were fully justified. Zakhary Kalashovov will not get in a Spanish jail most likely: he will have four years counted for those already spent in remand prison, and will be deported from the country. However, authorities of Georgia require the extradition of Shakro, he has been sentenced in absentia to 11 years there.
12 people have been brought to justice - a thief in the law, influential in Russia Zakhary Kalashov; lawyer Alexander Gofshtein; a former adviser to first President of RF Boris Yeltsin, Oleg Vorontsov; Georgian businessmen Mikhail Mdinaradze and Konstantin Asatiani, citizens of Ukraine Alexander Minin, Natalia Serova, Alyona Gotsulenko, and four citizens of Spain.
Mr. Kalashov, Mdinaradze, Asatiani, Vorontsov, Minin, as well as Mrs. Serova were found guilty of money laundering by investing in property in the Spanish resorts of Marbella, Fuengirola, Benalmadena and Torremolinos. The most severe sentence was imposed to Zakhary Kalashov - seven and a half years in prison and a fine of ? 20 million. Mikhael Mdinaradze was sentenced to five years and a fine of ? 8 million. Konstantin Asatiani, Oleg Vorontsov, Alexander Minin and Natalia Serova were sentenced to prison terms of two to four years and a fine of ? 300 thousand to ? 3 million.
The other defendants, including the famous Russian lawyer Alexander Gofshtein and senior tax officer of Spain Carlos Asensio Antonio Fernandez, were fully justified. Mr. Gofshtein was arrested in November 2006 in Madrid, in a remand prison during one of his visits to his client Zakhary Kalashov. Based on monitored talks during the visit, the police concluded that the relationship between Alexander Gofshtein and Zakhary Kalashovo "went beyond the relationship between a lawyer and a client», and, Mr. Gofshtein himself" became a full member of a criminal organization headed by Mr. Kalashov. Mr. Fernandes Asencio was accused of allegedly helping the members of the criminal organization of Shakro-young register the companies, through which the crime proceeds of the Russian mafia had been laundered. None of those charges was confirmed in the court.
The verdict of the National Trial Chamber made unsatisfied both the prosecution and the defense. Prosecutor Jose Grinda promised to appeal it in the near future. Similar statements were made by the convicts' lawyers.
If the sentence remains unchanged, none of the convicts will come back in the Spanish prison, as they have been released from the remand prison while pending for adjudication under the caution money (at different times all the defendants of the case were released on bail). Each of the convicts still under investigation managed to be held in jail not less than half of the court-appointed sentence. They will have this time set off and will be deported from Spain with a prohibition to enter into the Schengen states for ten years.
Nevertheless, Zakhary Kalashov still risks being imprisoned: the Georgian authorities are going to require for his extradition. Head of Information and Analytical Department in MIA of Georgia Utiashvili said that back in 2005, Zakhary Kalashov was sentenced in absentia in this country for 11 years in prison. The court confiscated the mansion of Mr. Kalashov in the suburb of Tbilisi - Tskneti worth $ 20 million and gave it for the use of the MIA. The sentence was imposed on the basis of the law against organized crime adopted in Georgia in 2005. Under this law, the defendant can be sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment not for a specific crime only, but for the fact that he "manages or is a member of a criminal group and professes a criminal ideology, that is the ideology of the so-called" thieves in law ". Mr Utiashvili told Kommersant that Georgia has always been insisting on the extradition of Mr. Kalashov, wherever he was hiding, but failed. At the moment, he said, the Georgian authorities intend to make one more attempt by sending a request to Spain.
Source: Kommersant № 97 (4397) on 02.06.2010