Lawyer Petitions Procuracy Over Leonov’s Release 11:15, 10/01/2002
Nikolai Shalima, attorney of Mikhail Leonov, detained on January 8, petitioned the prosecutor general over the liberation of former director general of MTP from custody due to the deteriorating health conditions, the personality of the detainee and some other aspects. Shalima stressed that Leonov was detained in accordance with the art.108 of the Criminal Code, which means that the detention can’t last for more than 72 hours. This term expires today, after which the former director general of MTP will either be set free or face another detention measure. As concerns Leonov’s health condition, Shalima said that he’s got problems with an abdominal muscle and needs urgent medical treatment. The former director also suffers from vertebral malfunction; it hurts him badly to stand up or sit down.
The lawyer also detailed the reasons why the legal action was brought against Leonov and spoke on some nuances of his arrest. According to the police arrest warrant, in 1998, when being a director general of the Minsk tractor plant, Leonov allegedly signed a deal with a Russian company “Rivertekh” on the supplies of metal contrary to the plant’s interests, which entailed $120 thousand damage. The procuracy also asserts that in 1998 he casually signed a deal with the American company “G.R.O. TRADING LLC” on the supplies of spare parts, thus inflicting a $1mln damage upon the state. The attorney dismisses these allegations as totally groundless.
Nikolai Shalima also told the whole story about Leonov’s failed voyage to Russia. Here’s what the man said: On December 13, 2001 till January 5, 2002 Leonov was placed for medical treatment in the 5th clinics. When they were about to send him out, Leonov called the Minister of industry Anatoly Kharlap and said that he leaves the hospital. He also asked the Minister to be given a permission to travel to Moscow to consult with healthcare specialists. The Minister gave his consent. Leonov submitted an official request to the Ministry and there’s an “approved” stamp on his request. The witnesses also confirm this fact. However, afterwards the Minister cancelled his decision. But this happened later. Having received Minister’s green light Leonov told his friend Eduard Gerchikov, who was supposed to leave for Moscow on January 7, to buy him a train ticket too. His friend, in return, asked his driver Alexander Kobzarev to do it. The driver, when paying for the ticket, showed his driver’s license, so the ticket was issued on his name. Having received the ticket, Leonov paid no heed to that fact, says his lawyer. Leonov was detained overnight January 7-8, when the train arrived in Orsha. Shalima noted that the detention had been carried out upon a phone call, without a presentation of any document. The operatives simply showed up and delivered Leonov to Minsk.