Ksenia Sobchak's employees found guilty of extortion

Employees of Putin's goddaughter sentenced to 7 years in maximum security colony

A Moscow court announced a guilty verdict in a criminal case of extorting 11 million rubles ($121,000) from the head of Rostec Corporation, Sergei Chemezov. The court and the investigation established that employees of journalist Ksenia Sobchak's Telegram channels tried to obtain the above-mentioned amount of money from Chemezov through extortion.

Three defendants were sentenced from 7 to 7.5 years in a maximum security colony:

  • former commercial director of the Oztorozhno Media holding, Kirill Sukhanov,
  • editor-in-chief of Tatler magazine, owner of Tushite Svet (Turn the lights out) Telegram channel Arian Romanovsky (real name Kuzmin),
  • journalist Tamerlan Bigaev.

The court found that they entered into a conspiracy to extort money from the general director of the Rostec State Corporation, Sergei Chemezov. The convicts demanded a total of 11 million rubles for the removal of compromising and discrediting information about Chemezov in the Telegram channel owned by well-known Russian journalist and socialite Ksenia Sobchak (also known as Putin's goddaughter).

In addition, the extortionists promised not to disseminate that information for a year after receiving the money. As a result, the court sentenced:

  • Sukhanov to 7.5 years in prison,
  • the others were sentenced to 7 years in a maximum security colony.

The prosecutor sought from 7.5 to 8 years in prison for them.

Sukhanov partially admitted his guilt, Kuzmin and Bigaev completely denied their involvement in the crime.

After the verdict was announced, the lawyer of one of the defendants in the case, Dmitry Malutov, announced his intention to appeal the verdict in the Moscow City Court.

Interestingly, Ksenia Sobchak, the owner of the Telegram channel, where compromising information about Chemezov was posted, was not involved in the case either as a witness or as an eyewitness. Sobchak was not even called to court, lawyer Malutov said.

Despite her absence from the court, Sobchak immediately responded to the verdict against Sukhanov, Kuzmin and Bigaev, calling it disproportionate.

"I'm speechless. This is not just injustice. It's much bigger than that. I fulfilled everything, all the agreements, for a mitigation to be implemented. Why are you ruining people's lives? For what? 7.5 years????? Why such a disproportion???? Just to take revenge?" Sobchak wrote on Telegram.

Meanwhile, Sergei Chemezov's representative told RIA Novosti that Rostec asked the court to commute the sentences of those involved in the extortion case and take into account their apologies.

Sergei Chemezov extortion scandal broke out in the fall of 2022, when Sukhanov, Kuzmin and Bigaev were detained. The defendants testified that they followed instructions of their boss, Ksenia Sobchak. It was then reported that the journalist became a suspect in the case.

Sobchak left Russia, but returned a couple of weeks later. The ruling to involve her in the case as a suspect was abolished. On November 17, 2022, the journalist apologised to Chemezov. She added that Sukhanov, Kuzmin and Bigaev also sincerely regretted what they did.

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Petr Ermilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov