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Lawyer forcing his services, former prosecutor's wife claims

January 12, 2012, 13:11 UTC+3
Investigators put Ignatenko on the international wanted list on July 1
1 pages in this article

MOSCOW, January 12 (Itar-Tass) — The wife of former First Deputy Prosecutor of the Moscow region Alexander Ignatenko, who was detained in Poland within a high-profile case over illegal gambling business, complained to Moscow's Bar about actions by lawyer Yakov Adzhiashvili. Adzhiashvili alleges he is Ignatenko's lawyer, said Alexander Perepelkin, who represents the interests of the former prosecutor.

"In her complaint, Svetlana Valentinovna asks the Bar to take measures against the violation of lawyers' ethnical norms by Adzhiashvili, discipline him, and protect Alexander Igantenko and his family from Adzhiashvivi's forcing his services," Perepelkin said.

The complaint notes that taking into account the public interest in the criminal case, and having no rights or authority, some persons seek to boost their image by making comments to the mass media and claiming their are Ignatenko’s lawyers.

"Neither Ignatenko nor members of his family have ever contacted Adzhiashvili, nor have they drawn contracts with him to represent my husband's interests," Ignatenko's wife said.

"Adzhiashvili repeatedly sent letters to us, including through our lawyer Perepelkin, in which he praised himself as lawyer, bothering us with his offers of services, but we flatly refused," she said.

Ignatenko was detained by Poland's domestic security agents at 20:00, local time /23:00, Moscow time/ as he was leaving Zakopane on January 1. He had arrived at the town for reunion with his family. The police stopped his car as he was leaving the town. Ignatenko did not offer resistance during the detention.

On June 28, 2011, Russia charged Alexander Ignatenko with fraud in absentia. The investigator said he had been taking bribes in cash or other property worth 47 million roubles in the period from July 2009 through February 2011 in person or through an intermediary for covering up illegal gambling business.

He is also accused of fraud against suspected gambling business mastermind Ivan Nazarov, whom he had sold a land plot in the Krasnogorsk district of the Moscow region for two million roubles, although the prosecutor had no ownership rights to that property.

On July 13, Moscow's Basmanny court sanctioned Ignatenko's arrest in absentia, and on August 1, the Moscow City Court turned down the petition by Ignatenko's lawyers who had asked to cancel the ruling.

Investigators put Ignatenko on the international wanted list on July 1.

In early 2011, the Federal Security Service reported that an illegal gambling ring had been exposed in the Moscow region, and named first deputy regional prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko among the suspects. They include the regional prosecutor, his colleagues and police officials. The FSB said it had encountered active resistance already at the initial stage of the probe, on the part of supervisory bodies and police.

On January 1, 2007, the federal law on gambling came into effect in Russia. Under the document, gambling is only allowed in four specialized zones: the Kaliningrad region, the Altai and Primorye Territories and between Rostov region and the Krasnodar Territory. Outside of these areas, gambling is illegal.

The article under which the criminal case was opened envisions a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison with additional fine up to one million roubles or possible restriction of freedom for up to two years.

Reports on Wednesday said Ignatenko's Polish lawyer Marcin Lweczak had lodged a complaint with an appellate court against the ruling on his client’s temporary 40-day arrest.

Under the estalbished norms, the request to extradite Ignatenko to Russia should be forwarded to Poland within 20 days after the suspect's arrest and the relevant notification of the country which initiated the search. The Investigative Committee /SK/ earlier said the documents would be ready within the news few days after their translation in Polish.

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