Sergey Mikhailov appeared in court with a lawyer. When calling Mikhailov in testimony, the judge only mentioned the name of the witness. However, Mr Mikhailov is known as a CEO of Management-Consulting and his name is closely linked with the activities of charitable fund Participation.
He was summoned to court after a statement made by the defendant’s mother. She claimed that confidants of Sergey Mikhailov and Nikolay Nefedov (the two are known in the criminal world under the names of Mikhas and Nefed of Nizhny Novgorod) were trying to make her pay a large sum of money. In exchange they promised to assist her son so that the case against him would be closed.
In fact, Dmitry Baranovsky faces charges over three extortion cases (art. 163 of the Criminal Code), libel (art. 129 of the Criminal Code) and giving deliberately misleading information (art. 306 of the Criminal Code). The indictment says that Baranovsky "threatening to publicize damaging information" demanded his rivals to pay large tolls aiming to collect both money and property. The property that he demanded from his victims as a rule was subject to arbitration court litigations.
Investigation assumes that Baranovsky used mass media reports to put the victims under pressure. Moreover, he had accomplices. In December 2010 the investigators arrested the lawyer of the IPO Spravedlivost, Andrey Karasev, and his former colleague, Maxim Roslyakov.
The victims to the case are Moscow region minister of transport Peter Katsyv; his son Denis Katsyv; Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer; Alexander Altunin, former Sberbank Stock Market Operations Department Director and currently a businessman; and Vladimir Kasatkin, head of Infiko company.
When asked if he knew the defendant, Sergey Mikhailov answered that he had come across him several times in Moscow region government where the witness sometimes had to go to sort out some of the issues concerning his charitable fund. Mikhailov and Baranovsky had never been involved in any business projects together. Mikhailov denied allegations in regard to his demanding money in exchange for help to close Baranovsky’s case.
He only recalled that during one of their encounters Baranovsky had complained about lawyers in various litigations he had been involved in. In particular, Baranovsky had mentioned Ms Veselnitskaya. Mikhailov had told about the conversation to a close friend of the mentioned lawyer. The witness was asked if he had taken the defendant’s words for a request to influence his opponents. Mikhailov said he had not.
"Did you offer help to Baranovsky in exchange for money in the 1990s?" asked one of the parties to the litigation, referring to the case file. "I did not", said the witness firmly. He testified that considered the defendant to be a justice advocate. "As far as I understood from the conversation, he wanted justice through involvement of state agencies,” said the witness. “First of all, the Department for Combating the Embezzlement of Socialist Property and Speculation, that is, the Department of Economic Security”.
The defendant asked the witness only one question, “Did I ask your assistance or did I just complain?” “As far as I understood, you only wanted me to say that you were going to file petitions to law enforcement agencies” was Mikhailov’s answer.
In late March the court questioned another criminal don, Tariel Oniani (Mulukhov). During the investigation Baranovsky claimed that the criminal kingpin had demanded him to pay several million dollars as compensation for victimized Altutin. Tariel Oniani was summoned to court from a prison in Chelyabinsk where he was serving a ten year sentence for kidnapping and extortion. In court Oniani only testified that he did not know any of the people present at the hearing and that he had not been involved with any of them. According to those present at the litigation, Baranovsky did not ask the witness any questions.