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CAB046 / Russia / TRIALS BEGIN IN RUSSIAN KKI INVESTIGATION

TRIALS BEGIN IN RUSSIAN KKI INVESTIGATION

¶1. (U) SUMMARY: Trials began this week in corruption cases of GOR officials by the KKI. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (U) Trials begin this week in a series of criminal cases brought forth by the Комитет по коррупции Исследование [Committee for Corruption Investigation] (KKI). The committee, formed by President Volodin and the Duma, have charged twenty-two individuals from various branches of the GOR on a range of corruption crimes. Of the twenty-two trials set to begin, four begin this week. Those individuals included Sergei Beletsky (aide in Office of Minister of Defense), Yury Faustin (aide in Office of Foreign Affairs), Sofia Koikov (prosecuter in Office of the Judiciary), and Dmitri Obolensky (General in the military).

¶3. (C) A source from within the KKI suggested that there is very specific reasoning behind the order of the trials. The source explained that the committee intends to prosecute the easiest cases first in an effort to scare the second tier of suspects into plea bargaining. The goal of the plea bargain will be to gain testimony against the final tier, and most difficult to prosecute.

¶4. (SBU) While the initial stages of the first three trials were uneventful with all three suspects pleading guilty, the opening for the trial of Dmitri Obolensky was marked by an outburst. A man later identified as General Alexi Denisovich Douka interrupted the opening remarks, yelling (rough translation) “You’re liars! You’re all <expletive> liars! These verdicts were written in memos before you were even born! Don’t you see? They’re behind it all! Don’t you see?” Douka was immediately held in contempt and removed from the courtroom. Records indicate Douka and Obolensky served together during the South Ossetian conflict. Witness accounts suggest the two men were friends. Douka was later released by authorities with a fine of 80,000 RUB (~ $2500 USD) for the outburst. He refused requests for comment from the press.

¶5. (C) COMMENT: As the trials progress, the effect on relations with the US will be monitored closely. Due to hesitancy from political and corporate groups, we must do everything we can to assist the Duma in reaching guilty verdicts for all twenty-two suspects. In the case of REDACTED REDACTED, it is especially important that REDACTED not go to trial. As we have seen with the outburst from General Douka, public opinion must not be swayed, particularly when considering the amount of sensitive info that REDACTED possesses. Although previous offers to assist in the investigation committee have been declined, it might be necessary to insist in a slightly more aggressive manner. END COMMENT.

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