MOSCOW, March 1 (Itar-Tass) — St Petersburg's Kuibyshev district court has sentenced former State Duma lawmaker Mikhail Glushchenko to eight years in prison, finding him guilty of extortion, spokesman for the Investigative Committee /SK/ Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.
Glushchenko was lawmaker in 1995-1999. "The investigator and the court ascertained that brothers Sergei /he was deputy of the Petersburg legislative assembly - eds Itar-Tass/ and Vyacheslav Shevchenko /who was a State Duma lawmaker in his time, too/ and Mikhail Glushchenko reached an accord on passing monthly remuneration to the latter.
The fee was paid from 1992. Its amount kept growing and reached 50,000 dollars. The money was intended as payment for Glushchenko's patronage and protection from encroachment by criminal groups. Glushchenko had authority in the criminal underworld and pledged to protect the Shevchenkos' business.
In the summer of 2003, Vyacheslav Shevchenko told Glushchenko who had been outside of Russia since 2002 that he would terminate payments because the latter had left Russia.
"But Glushchenko, from the summer of 2003 through March 2004, repeatedly phoned Vyacheslav Shevchenko, threatening murder and use of violence on his relatives, and demanding that Shevchenko pass him ten million dollars.
After the victim refused to comply with his demand, Glushchenko began to insist that Shevchenko sold the Metropol company belonging to the Shevchenko brothers to third parties at the nominal price. The market value of the property was 260 million roubles.
On March 24, 2004, Vyacheslav Shevchenko was killed in Cyprus. The court, aside from sending Glushchenko to serve his sentence in a maximum regime penitentiary, also fined him 300,000 roubles.
The SK representative added that a second case against Glushchenko was under investigation. He is accused of masterminding the murder of three Russians in the village of Peyia, suburban Paphos in Cyprus in March 2004: Vyacheslav Shevchenko, businessman Yuri Zorin and interpreter Viktor Tretyakova. Their bodies were found by Cyprus police at the villa where they lived.
Mikhail Glushchenko, 55, was detained in St.Petesrburg in June 2009 and has been in custody since.
In the autumn of 2011, reports said a Federal Security Service investigator intended to question Glushchenko within the case over the murder of State Duma deputy Galina Starovoitova.
Earlier, investigative activities involved Glushchenko and Yuri Kolchin. The latter was sentenced to 20 years for organizing the murder of Starovoitova.
Glushchenko said he would appeal the verdict.