MOSCOW, March 6 (Itar-Tass) — On Tuesday St Petersburg's Kuibyshev district court sentenced criminal leader Vladimir Barsukov /Kumarin/ to 15 years in prison finding him guilty of extorting money from the owners of the Yelizarovsky trade center.
"The court rules to sentence Barsukov to 15 years in jail," a judge announced.
The trial was held at the Moscow City Court during visiting sessions for security reasons.
During the arguments of the parties, the prosecutor demanded that the defendant be sentenced to 18 years. The second defendant within the case - lawyer Dmitry Rafalovich was sentenced to ten years. Both men will serve their sentences in maximum security prisons.
The court ordered to fine Barsukov/Kumarin/ one million roubles and Rafalovich 900,000 roubles.
The injured parties' compensation claim will be reviewed as a civil suit, the court said.
The punishment for Barsukov, the leader of the so-called Tambov criminal group, was meted out while taking into account the jail term within the first verdict in 2009.
The defense intends to appeal against the verdict.
Barsukov pleaded not guilty.
The investigation into the criminal case, as well as in other criminal cases over the offenses committed by Barsukov's gang was particularly difficult. The Tambov gang included more than 40 active members.
This gang committed murders, extortions and hostile takeovers in St.Petersburg and the Leningrad region since the 2000s.
"Taking into account the information that the gang had connections to corrupted officials at state and law-enforcement bodies of St Petersburg, a decision was made to investigate the criminal cases by visiting teams of Investigative Committee specialists.
The Investigative Committee sent its most experienced investigators to the second largest city. The investigators encountered active resistance on the part of the accused, who had considerable financial and administrative resources at their disposal and were putting pressure on witnesses.
Barsukov and lawyer Dmitry Rafalovich, as members of an organized group, were extorting in 2005 through 2006, monthly payments from a businessman, Pavel Orlov, threatening him with illegal seizure of the building of the Yelizarovsky trade centre and creating conditions for the victim that made further commercial activities in St. Petersburg impossible. They acted in collusion with Vyacheslav Eneyev, who had a criminal record.
According to the investigators, they received at least 7.4 million roubles from Orlov.
After murdering the businessman in 2006, Barsukov "continued to export money from his successors, his mother and sister, threatening them with murder."