Crime Boss's Unlucky Number

Crime Boss's Unlucky Number


Anatoly Bykov, a notorious businessman and scandalous politician from Krasnoyarsk, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for double murder. Several more criminal cases against him are on the way.

The high-profile case has been pending in the Sverdovsky court in Krasnoyarsk since January. Last May, Anatoly Bykov was taken to a pre-trial detention centre from his villa in the elite village of Sosny. This is Krasnoyarsk's equivalent of Rublyovka [a prestigious residential area in the western suburbs of Moscow], where top regional officials and prominent businessmen live. The governor's residence is located in Rublyovka, too.

On September 3, the jury reached a preliminary verdict which came as a real blow to the defence. The jury trial had been called at Anatoliy Bykov's own request. His lawyers said they had felt certain of a not guilty verdict in this case. However, it worked out the other way round. The jury found Bykov guilty and not deserving of leniency (by four votes against two).

A Krasnoyarsk Territory Court source told that the questionnaire for the prosecution had four questions:

- was it proved that the murder had taken place?

- was it proved that the defendant had participated in it?

- is he guilty?

- does he deserve leniency in relation to the deed?

“Taking into account the jury’s verdict, the court, on September 7, found Anatoliy Bykov guilty of masterminding the murder and sentenced him 13 years in a general regime penal colony,” the press service of Russia's Investigative Committee for Krasnoyarsk Territory and Khakassia said.

“The defence was not given all the opportunities to present evidence and ask questions of the prosecution witnesses. Some of the questions were simply removed by the court. This, among other things, influenced the jury's verdict,” Bykov's lawyer Alexei Prokhorov said after the trial.

The prosecutor demanded a sentence of 14 years and 11 months, almost the maximum term under the Criminal Code article ‘Organising the Murder of Two or More Persons.’ The investigator established that Anatoly Bykov put two Krasnoyarsk residents from his entourage on the hit list in the summer of 1994 as he suspected them of attempting to kill him after a dispute over money. They were killed by criminal boss Vladimir Tatarenkov and his two henchmen. Tatarenkov was recently released from prison after serving a long sentence. One of the accomplices is serving a life sentence, and the other has been on the run for many years. The evidence was largely based on Tatarenkov's testimony.

“He had not testified about Bykov's involvement in the murder before because he himself had not admitted to it trying to avoid responsibility,” said the investigators.

Bykov pleaded not guilty and rejected a pre-trial agreement offered to him, namely, termination of prosecution due to the statute of limitations in exchange for his full confession to organising the murder. Bykov said he had been framed for murder because of his political and social activities.

However, this is not the end of the story as Anatoly Bykov is currently a suspect in four other criminal cases, the mildest of which is large-scale tax evasion. In addition, he is accused of solicitation of contract hit, solicitation of attempted murder of two or more persons and organisation of a criminal network.

“ has previously written about such an odious figure as Bykov on several occasions. His career as a businessman and politician is typical of those who started out in the 1990s. An ordinary PE teacher from the mining town of Nazarovo gained success in the regional capital, eventually becoming the owner of the Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter and several other enterprises and a member of the regional legislative assembly. He was a de facto leader of major factions in the legislative assembly and the city council of Krasnoyarsk and a politician, tremendously popular with the people. This popularity, however, has been steadily declining in recent years. Many believe that Bykov never was a good judge of character. Therefore, the quality of his public entourage was steadily diminishing. As a result, the influence of the collective “party of Bykov” gradually waned in the territory. He was increasingly critical of the incumbent government in Russia which, as known, is fraught with consequences.

“The Bykov factor brought together the criminal wars of the 1990s, regional politics, etc. but the verdict put an end to this checkered saga. September 7 is the day that shuts down the Anatoliy Bykov political project. His few comrades-in-arms will be marginalized without their leader. To my thinking, the Krasnoyarsk branch of the LDPR party are excited about this circumstance, since it will be the LDPR that will take over Bykov's former electorate,” political analyst Alexander Cherniavsky told

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