[The expatriation of Sergei Guriyev, a highly regarded Russian economist, was a major story both in the Russian and in international presses last month. By his own admission, Guriyev left Russia because he feared imprisonment after continued harassment by Russia’s Investigative Committee, which searched his office and seized thousands of emails related to investigation into the legal case against Mikhail Khordokovsky. Below, The New Times publishes the court decrees that authorized the search and seizure. — ed.]
The New Times publishes here documents which provide a picture of what the Investigative Committee is trying to charge Guriyev with: it is a decree on the execution of a search and another decree on permission to seize documents containing information constituting private correspondence. Notice the difference.
The texts of both decrees – the first, from 25 April, signed by Investigator M.V. Tumanov, and the second from 9 April signed by Judge I.A. Skuridina – are identical except for the first and last paragraphs of the decree part. It is the same text, and even they have not even deemed it necessary to correct mistakes.
For example, retired Constitutional Court Judge Tamara Morshchakova, mentioned in the second paragraph on page two of the document signed by the investigator, and in the fifth paragraph of the document signed by the judge (in that document that heading of the document is longer, which is why the paragraphs were placed on the next page) is indicated as “E.G. Morshchakova” (see below), but two paragraphs later in both documents the correct version of her name is given as “T.G. Morshchakova.” In other words, permission for the violation of one of the most important Constitutional rights – the right to privacy of correspondence – was waved away without a glance by a judge at Basmanny Court.
Document No. 1
On Permission for Execution
of Seizure of Documents
Constituting Private Correspondence
9 April 2013
Judge I.A. Skuridina of the Basmanny District Court of the city of Moscow, with secretary M.I. Tokmakova, with the participation of V.A. Lakhtin, senior prosecutor of the second department of the directorate of the Russian Federation Prosecutor General’s office, having reviewed in judicial session the decree of F.G. Ganiyev, colonel of justice, the investigator for special cases of the first investigation department of the directorate for investigation of special cases of crimes against government authority and in the area of economics of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation concerning the petition for permission to execute seizure of documents containing information constituting private correspondence, in criminal case No. 18/41/03,
The present criminal case was opened 20 June 2003 based on the fact of a case of property damage to the government, Apatit OJSC and deliberate non-fulfillment of a decision of the court which had entered into lawful force regarding evidence of crimes under par. b, part 3, Art. 165 and part 3, Art. 286 and Art. 315 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code.
The period for preliminary investigation in the case was extended on 25 February 2013 by the first deputy of the Chairman of the Russian Federation Investigative Committee until 02 June 2013.
In the petition presented to the court, the investigator indicated that the Criminal Case is being investigated regarding members of an organized group which was under the leadership of the main shareholders of the YUKOS Oil Company OSJC, M.B. Khodorkovsky and P.L. Lebedev, who took part in appropriation of the oil of subsidiary oil extraction shareholder associations of the above-mentioned oil company — Yuganskneftegaz, Samaraneftegaz and Tomskneft and the legalization of criminally obtained funds. The heads of the organized group M.B. Khodorkovsky and P.L. Lebedev were sentenced by a Russian court for committing embezzlement through appropriation of more than 200 million tons of oil valued at more than 832 billion rubles and legalizing the cash funds realized from the sale of the stolen oil in the sum of an equivalent of US $20 billion, that is, crimes punishable under part. 4, Art. 160 and part. 3, Art. 174-1 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code, to 10 years and 8 months of imprisonment.
In April 2005, a portion of the shares in foreign companies under the control of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, formed by cash funds obtained from the sale of the stolen oil was transferred with the purpose of laundering (legalizing) to the management of a foreign company under their control, Stichtung Administratiekantoor YUKOS International UK B.V., located at Locatellikade 1, Parnassustrn, 1076 AZ, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Since 2005, members of the organized group concealing funds abroad, operating under the leadership of Khodorkovsky, M.B., continued to perform financial operations with these assets to transfer criminally-obtained property, including cash funds, for the purpose of laundering via transfer to other foreign companies. The investigation of these episodes of laundering is continuing under this current criminal case.
In particular, it has been established that under the leadership of A.V. Drel, who is in hiding in London in the UK, financial operations have been carried out to transfer money to the territory of other states and to Russia under the guise of donations of funds and private persons, and also under the guise of payments for supposed works performed and services in the name of commercial companies which were controlled by E.V. Novikova.
Thus, the cash assets were laundered to finance activities to oppose the preliminary investigation, and judicial review of the criminal case with regard to M.B. Khodorkovsky and P.L. Lebedev, to wit: for the receipt of conclusions of specialists on the criminal case to the advantage of these persons, for the amendment of criminal law in favor of decriminalization or reduction of punishment of those articles of the criminal code of the Russian Federation under which the above-mentioned persons were charged or convicted, and also to amend articles of the Russian Federation Code of Criminal Procedures improving the opportunities of the sides of the defense in the criminal proceedings.
From the indicated legalized cash funds, E.V. Novikova received compensation herself, and paid compensation to E.G. Morshchakova and other persons assisting in the organization of the above-cited work, and paid compensation under the guise of honoraria to scholars who took part in the scholarly establishment of the need for amendments to criminal law.
With the assistance of E.V. Novikova, S.M. Guriyev, Ph.D. in economics, dean of the Russian Economics School, was drawn into participation in such conferences.
Thus, on 06 July 2010, at the Grand Ball Room conference hall at ul. Lesnaya, d. 15, Moscow, at a “Russian Alternatives” conference (6th Khodorkovsky Hearings), S.M. Guriyev gave a lecture within the framework of the program, including the topic “Is there a Way Out from the YUKOS Affair”.
Further, from April-October 2011, E.V. Novikova, acting in a group with T.G. Morshchakova and other persons who had previously received compensation from the above-indicated legalized funds, being interested persons, organized the production of a public evaluation of the sentence by the Khamovnichesky Court in Moscow dated 28 December 2019 regarding M.B. Khodorkovsky and P.L. Lebedev, supposedly under the aegis of the Russian Federation Presidential Council on the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights. Moreover, there was a violation of the principles of production of this public evaluation of the sentence, proclaimed by this Council, to wit, in violation of the principle of conflict of interests, T.G. Morshchakova, E.V. Novikova and others invited S.M. Guriyev in the capacity of an expert, who had previously taken part in the process of analyzing the case and had expressed his position on it.
In the preparation of the conclusion, and also in the course of interacting with T.G. Morshchakova and others persons in the process of the above-referenced public evaluation, S.M. Guriyev may have used the electronic mail addresses “firstname.lastname@example.org,” “Sguriev@nes.ru” and “Smguriev@nes.ru,” registered on the web site “nes.ru”, whose mail service and storage of electronic communications are registered to the non-governmental educational institution Russian Economics School.
Thus, the non-governmental educational institution Russian Economics School, located at Nakhimovsky Avenue, bldg. 41, Moscow, has communications and attachments of electronic mail coming from the electronic mail addresses email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and archived at it, in which may be contained information having significance for the criminal case about the circumstances of the organization by E.V. Novikova and other persons of scholarly conferences (the Khodorkovsky Hearings) and public evaluation for compensation from legalized funds and about persons involved in these circumstances, and also information about the opposition to the investigation of these circumstances up to the present time.
Taking into account that in accordance with part 2, Article 23 of the RF Constitution, everyone has the right to privacy of correspondence and other communications, and restriction of this right is permitted only on the basis of a judicial decision, the seizure of the correspondence of S.M. Guriyev from the above-indicated electronic mail addresses, which is protected by federal privacy law, is executed through the procedure of part 3, Art. 183 of the RF Code of Criminal Procedures (CCP) on the basis of a judicial decision.
S.M. Guriyev is not in the category of persons with regard to whom is establish a special procedure for criminal proceedings stipulated by chapter 52 of the RF CCP.
From part 3, Art. 183 of the RF CCP, seizure in banks (or other credit organizations) of items and documents containing information about the deposits and accounts of citizens is executed on the basis of judicial decision taken by the procedure established under Art. 165 of the RF Code of Criminal Procedures.
From part 2, Art. 165 of the RF CCP, it follows that petition for the execution of investigatory action must be reviewed personally by a judge of the district court in the location of the preliminary investigation or the investigative action.
Art. 29, par. 7, part 2 establishes the right of the court to make decisions on the execution of seizure in banks (or other credit organizations) of items and documents containing information about deposits and accounts of citizens.
According to Art. 39, par 4, part 1 of the RF CCP, the head of the investigative agency is authorized to provide consent to the investigator to file a petition before the court on the execution of procedural actions that are permitted on the basis of a judicial decision.
Having verified the materials submitted justifying the petition filed, having heard the opinion of the prosecutor supporting the petition of the investigation, and having pronounced it lawful and justified, the judge considers that it must be satisfied since it has been submitted to the court by the appropriate official within the framework of a criminal case, with the consent of the deputy head of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Russian Federation Investigative Committee, is motivated, and meets the requirements of criminal procedural law.
On the basis of the above, guided by Art 29, part. 7, part 2; Art. 38, par. 3, part two, Art. 165, part one, and Arts. 182 and 183, parts one, two, and four
To allow the execution of the seizure at the non-governmental educational institution Russia Economics School, located at build. 47, Nakhimovsky Avenue, Moscow, of the communications and attachments of the electronic mail coming to the electronic mail addresses firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and the archives of them, and also the incoming and outgoing communications deleted from the mailbox of the above-referenced users, from the period of 01 January 2008 to the present time.
This ruling may be appealed at the Moscow City Court within 10 days.
Judge I.A. Skuridina
Document No. 2
on Search Proceeding
City of Moscow
25 April 2013
M.V. Tumanov, senior investigator of special cases under the Chairman of the Russian Federation Investigative Committee, a major-general of justice, having reviewed the materials of Criminal Case No. 18/41-03,
[Text identical to first document-Ed]
On the basis of the above, and guided by Art. 182, part 1 and part 2 of the RF CCP
To conduct a search at the non-governmental educational institution Russian Economics School located at bldg. 47, Nakhimovsky Avenue, Moscow, for the purpose of finding and seizing items and documents having significance for the criminal case, containing information about the circumstances of the organization by E.V. Novikova and other persons of scholarly conferences (the Khodorkovsky Hearings) and public evaluation for compensation from the legalized funds and about persons related to these circumstances and also information about the opposition to the investigation of these circumstances up to the present time.
Senior Investigator of Special Cases under
Chairman of the RF Investigative Committee
Decree issued to me 25 April 2013 at 12:20 pm
Sergei Maratovich Guriyev