The investigation of the case on one of the most powerful crime bosses in the former Soviet Union - Tariel Oniani (Muluhova) has been completed in Moscow; he is accused of kidnapping and extortion. The file was sent to the Khamovnichesky court of the capital. Detectives consider it a big success that Mr. Oniani is going to be brought to justice, as it is an opportunity to condemn him for a long time. Perhaps, he was the main initiator of the conflict between criminal clans, which threatened resulting in a real slaughter after the assassination of Vyacheslav Ivankov (Jap). As soon as a trial on Tariel Oniani is finished in Russia, he will be probably sent to Spain, where he has been accused of laundering criminal proceeds, and organizing a criminal association.
On March, 12 Maxim Scherbakov - the Attorney of the Khamovniki District in Moscow confirmed the indictment, and sent to the Khamovnichesky court a criminal case on Tariel Oniani, accused of kidnapping and extortion in a large scale. One of the most powerful crime bosses in the former Soviet Union faces up to 15 years in prison.
Over the last 15 years they have been trying to bring Mr. Oniani to justice without a success not only in Russia but in many European countries. Warrants for his arrest have been issued in France and Spain. The situation changed last spring when the police received a statement from the wife of Moscow businessman Johnny Managadze on his kidnapping, and extortion of a large sum of money. As it turned out during the investigation, Tariel Oniani had organized the kidnapping and personally participated in it.
According to one of the participants in the investigation, "proving the guilt of a criminal authority of such magnitude as Tariel Oniani is always difficult, because the members of criminal clans rarely testify in their leaders." But in the story of the businessman kidnapping, said the detective, the thief in law "made a number of serious mistakes that led him behind bars." As detectives believe, the main mistake made by the criminal boss was personal involvement in the crime. Another major blunder, according to police, was "involving members of a criminal clan in the commission of the crime , and also hiring personal protection "from the staff of PS Avanguard”. The honest confessions of the five security guards had initially formed the basis for charges against Tariel Oniani. Later they collected other evidence of his guilt.
According to participants of the investigation, during the process Tariel Oniani claimed that he was not a criminal but a victimin in the case. The thief even wrote a counter-statement, accusing Johnny Managadze of fraud.
Note that after the trial in Moscow Tariel Oniani is going to face a meeting with Spanish investigators. Recently the authorities demanded to extradite the thief in law, accusing him of money laundering and organizing the criminal association. Given that Mr. Oniani is not a citizen of Russia, the issuance is likely to take place.
Source: newspaper "Kommersant" # 43 / M (4343) on 15/03/2010