Lawyer’s closing speach in Girenko case

Speech of lawyer Tseitlina, representative of E.N.Kalinova (daughter of N.M.Girenko) in the case against the gang of Voevodin and Borovikov accused in killing N.Girenko

Your Honour, Members of the Jury!

More than six years ago a famous scholar, expert and public activist, Nikolai Girenko, was killed. The case against Voevodin, Prokhorenko, Alexei Kostrachenkov and Andrei Kostrachenkov has been being investigated in the court for three years. Due to your civic responsibility and professionalism, the process is in its last stadium. The victims can present their view. I hope that you will make the right decision.

When I accepted the instructions from Yekaterina Kalinova how to lead the case, my main task was to find the truth in her father’s murder, not to accuse the defendants in any manner. That is why if I were not sure about the guilt of the accused and that the proofs were not enough to say they intentionally killed Nikolai Girenko because of his professional activities, I would say that I am not sure as being responsible for Ekaterina Nikolaevna, friends and colleagues of Nikolai Girenko. Just punishment of the guilty desirable by any victim is satisfied only when the guilty people are prosecuted.

I have no doubts about the guilt of the people accused in this murder. I am positive that during the investigation the guilt was proved objectively and fairly. It was the guilt, first of all, of the gang leader Voevodin and the killer Prokhorenko, and their helpers, the Kostrachenkov brothers, whose well-planned and agreed actions made this murder possible.

Today you, Members of the Jury, will answer the question. This answer will influence not only the obligatory punishment of the guilt, but also the possibility to use our right to do our professional and work activities, especially if these activities are aimed at fighting against hatred and xenophobia in the society and in our hearts and souls.

The day of June, 19 was not random. The killers chose the weekend to be sure that Girenko will be at home. He worked during the week. Nikolai Mikhailovich was a leading expert and specialist. He passed all levels of academic career – from research and technology fellow to the duties of the assistant director in the Kunstkamera Museum. Since 1988 till the very day of the murder he was actively involved into practical ethnopolitical studies, which is a basis for human rights activities in the sphere of inter-ethnic, inter-confessional, and interracial relations. He was also a chair of the Ethnic Minorities’ Rights Group and co-chair of the Scientists’ Union. He spent lots of time on writing expert conclusions for trials. He was one of the first who developed legal methodology for prosecuting people guilty in hate crimes. As a leading expert he made over 50 expert conclusions for law-enforcement agencies not only in St Petersburg, but also in other cities. He was the leading expert in investigating the basis of fascism, extremism and racism. Girenko wrote conclusions for the cases against gangs “Schults-88” and “Mad crowd”. These gangs were found guilty in the crimes.

Who and why killed the leading expert? What was the motivation for the crime? Was it intentioned? Are the accused Artem Prokhorenko, Alexei Voevodin, Alex Kostrachenkov and Andrei Kostrachenkov guilty in this murder?

The prosecutor’s office provided proofs of the motivation for the murder. Expertises on criminal cases against gangs “Mad Crowd” and “Schults-88” written by Nikolai Girenko are among them. Describing confiscated literature, expert N. Girenko concluded that “in the texts the elimination of the people who are different from the ideals of the gang’s leaders from the social system (by psychological terror, physical violence as a means of terror, accepting discriminatory laws)”.

These conclusions were the key proofs for sentencing the members of the extremists gangs „Mad Crowd“ and their co-workers from „Schults-88” according to Article 282 of the Criminal code. The defense will try to show that Prokhorenko and Kostrachenkov did not suffer from the Girenko’s expertises, however Girenko’s expertises and extracts about him from newspapers were confiscated in Borovikov’s flat. On the pages devoted to Girenko the following words wee written: “Guilty!”, “Nazis against bastards”, “Perspective targets”, “Nazis responsible for Girenko’s murder”, “Immediate attack”.

Thus, we have no doubts why Girenko was killed. He was killed for his professional activities as an expert and that due to his evaluations members of extremist gangs were sentenced. Voevodin and Borovikov were also members of those gangs.

The remains of these two groups “Mad Crowd” and “Schults-88” became the basis for a new organised gang. Later they purchased legal and illegal weapons and became an armed group led by Voevodin and Borovikov. Voevodin and Borovikov confirmed many times that they were also members of the “Mad Crowd” and “Schults-88” extremist communities. Voevodin confirmed himself that he was a member of “Schults-88” gang and as well as Kharchev of “Mad Crowd”.

What was the purpose uniting these people?

Kharchev: “To conduct direct effect activities, that is attacking immigrants”. “To cause a maximum hurt”.

Similar testimonies were given by Andrei Kostrachenkov: “The generator of ideas was Borovikov, and Voevodin distributed our roles”. “The aim of creating this group was attacking foreign citizens. We must have caused a maximum hurt to the health of migrants”.

Voevodin said that “a group of ideological friends was organised to conduct direct effect activities”.

Direct effect activities are attacks aimed at murdering.

At his first testimony Voevodin was asked: “Was your aim a murder?“ and he answered „As it happens. The aim was a maximum hurt. Everyone wanted to beat them! My task was to control the functions and work of the group. The others did what I said. There were no initiatives. Nobody threatened anyone. Everything was volunteer”.

To Your question “How did you chose the victims?” Voevodin answered “Visually. People of non- white race, and Borovikov knew some anti-fascists”.

What is it? Experts say, it is neo-Nazism. This is confirmed by the literature found in Borovikov and Voevodin’s apartment, the tattoos on the victims’ bodies, expert conclusions on these literature and tattoos: “Confiscated in Borovikov’s apartment literature promotes violent actions (including murders!) against people of ethnic groups” and, according to the experts, uses offensive characteristics (including abusive words), propaganda of aggressive and violent actions.

The tattoos of the accused also confirm the ideology and relation to the organised gang who openly stated its neo-Nazi beliefs. You should remember the lyrics of the read by the prosecutor song “Blue disease”: “The first tattoos on my body are the signs of holy faith …. read me from the tattoos as a book”. You could read the tattoos as they can be seen even in the court hall!

You saw the pictures from Voevodin’s body and read the expert conclusions: “Made in Russia”, “A.S.A.V.”, “Shults”, 88, i.d. “Heil Hitler” under the swastika, elements of the SS forces uniform, stylised runic lightnings, – symbol of the SS organisation, tetracrepid swastika on the armbands of policemen, flags and standards of the SS forces, portrait of the American racist, Robert Mathews, famous for promoting armed violence.

You should remember the tattoos from Andrei Kostrachenkov’ body: tetracrepid Nazi swastika, the tattoo “RAHOWA” translated by experts as “RAacial HOly WAr” written in the popular among Nazis Gothic font. Kostrachenkov himself translated this abbreviation exactly the same way at his first testimony on 13.03.09, but then at the meeting on 11.03.2011 he translated it as “RAdical HOnest WAy”.

You can evaluate the radicalism of this “honest way”!

This slogan is provided by a picture of stylised web. This tattoo means that its owner killed a person who, from racist point of view, belonged to “racially invalid” people. Kostrachenkov changed his first testimonies and on 11.03.2011 explained this picture as a style of football fans. You should decide what you trust more – the expertise or changed testimony of the accused!

The tattoos on Alexei Kostrachenkov’s body are “solar swastika” and runes. According to experts, they are related to Scandinavian and Germanic symbolism. Such runes were pictured on the graves of the SS soldiers. On his left shoulder there is a picture of an SS soldier which underlined the readiness to fight till the end.

Finally, Prokhorenko’s tattoos praise the Nazi ideology and extermination of “racially invalid” people, from Nazi point of view. Gimmler’s Sieg rune chosen the doubled lightning as a symbol of SS is pictured on his body as well. Prokhorenko had a tattoo in German on his back: “Jedem Das Seine” (‘to each what he deserves’). This slogan was placed over the Buchenwald concentration camp’s main entrance gate.

The experts said that these tattoos and literature confirm the neo-Nazi ideology of the organisation based on the ideas of neo-paganism and aggressive racism.

The ideas and its demonstration led the members of the gang to direct activities. To attack and kill the gang purchased legal and illegal guns. You saw how many guns the gang had and can make the conclusions. Two Saiga rifles were confiscated during the raid in Borovikov’s apartment. One of them was the gun which killed, according to earlier expert conclusions, Gofman and Golovchenko. Two Saiga rifles were confiscated during the raid in Kostrachenkov’s apartment. Home made Shpagin gun and bullets were confiscated in Prokhorenko’s flat. The TT gun and bullets for it were confiscated during the pat-down of Prokhorenko. The gun was loaded. Gas gun IZH 79-8 and bullets were confiscated during the arrest of Kostrachenkov Al. Sawn-off Mosin gun and bullets were confiscated at Zakalistov’s apartment.

To the question “Why did you have legal weapon?” Alexei Kostrachenkov answered that he joined a hunting club to learn how to shoot. According to Andrei Kostrachenkov, “Borovikov planned that the guns will be used against anti-fascists and people with other skin colour. I don’t know why we had so many guns. Illegal guns were purchased to use against anti-fascists and blacks. Prokhorenko said: “I had two Saiga rifles because the weapon naturally breaks while it is used”.

Voevodin and Borovikov ruled the gang, and Prokhorenko was its treasurer. According to Kharchev and Kostrachenkov, Prokhorenko was the one who collected and kept the money to buy guns. According to Kharchev, Konakov and Pavlenko, Prokhorenko and Kharchev bought the Mauser gun which was used to kill Girenko. The gun cost 5,000-6,000 rub. Prokhorenko prepared it personally and then he will make the last prepared and fatal shot.

You heard the testimonies of Kharchev who said that the gun was purchased in the spring of 2004 to attack people. This gun was purchased in February and tried in March 2004. You read the protocol of observation of the place in Sapernoe and saw the photos of the metallic construction (the base of a bus) which was shot when checking a gun by Kharchev and Prokhorenko. Kharchev confirmed that they shot at this construction. You can evaluate what the power of this gun was. On the photo table you could see the holes from the bullet in the bus. The bullets penetrated this construction.

The defense will try to convince you that it is very difficult to kill from the Mauser gun. But as it became clear from the testimonies of Andrei Kostrachenkov and Konakov it was not a random choice. It had some Nazi logic – killing Girenko from the Mauser gun was stylish in some way.

You remember why Voevodin said they had to kill Girenko: “Girenko is a Russophobe and enemy. He had to be liquidated”. Andrei Kostrachenkov witnessed: “Borovikov said we had to kill Girenko because he was a Russophobe, anti-fascist and expert”. Andrei Kostrachenkov said in the court that after the murder Borovikov and Voevodin praised Prokhorenko, and Borovikov said the gun which used to be used to kill communists now is used to kill an anti-fascist. It proves that the choice of the gun was not random.

Another question: has it been proved that Voevodin, Prokhorenko and the Kostrachenkov brothers made this crime together as a gang?

The answer is quite obvious: the murder was well-planned. It is proved by purchasing a gun in advance, its checking, developing the plan of the murder, finding the address of Girenko. Another proof of detailed planning is that they came to Girenko’s flat three times. The first time was in the end of May, Andrei Kostrachenkov said the aim was to spy out the land. The second time was on June, 17, as Voevodin and the Kostrachenkov brothers said.

They came to the flat, rang the bell. A small girl, granddaughter of Nikolai Girenko and daughter of Elena Nikolaevna, opened the door and said that Girenko is not at home. She saw the visitors and later could identify them. Borovikov, according to Voevodin, was well-prepared. He put on the glasses with simple lenses to be remembered this way. However, their plan failed: Girenko was not at home at the moment. By accident, they met him on the staircase – they heard him talking to a neighbour and that she called him Nikolai. Why did not they frighten if they wanted just to frighten him? There is only one possible answer: their aim was a murder. Probably the scholar stayed alive also because of the witnesses and that he saw the killers himself. All these witnesses were able to identify the killers later in spite of conspiration.

The plan was changed after the first attempt failed. They decided to shoot the scholar through the door. According to Andrei Kostrachenkov, Prokhorenko volunteered to be the shooter. It was planned to shoot before Girenko would open the door in order not to be recognised. Prokhorenko will confirm this fact in the court. Borovikov explained his plan: to arrived at Girenko’s house, come to his flat, ring the bell, call Nikolai Mikhailovich and then shoot.

Why would they call Girenko to come to the door if they did not want to kill him? Because they wanted to shoot the scholar for sure when he is behind the door.

So the victim was chosen, the gun purchased and checked, the site of the murder and time defined, new plan of the murder developed and the roles discussed. Prokhorenko and the Kostrachenkov brothers said that Voevodin gave an instruction how Girenko should be shot. Alexei Kostrachenkov said: “I and Propkhorenko walked up to the fourth floor, rang the bell”. A woman asked: “Who’s there”? We asked to call Nikolai Mikhailovich, some time later a man came to the door and asked “Who is there”? Artem took the gun. It was quite small. He targeted it at the door spy and shot. Then he put it back to the bag”.

These testimonies are confirmed and identical to what Elena Nikolaevna said. She heard a door bell, looked at the clock in her room – it was 8.55 a.m., came to the door, looked into the door spy and saw a young man in dark clothes. There was another young man next to him. She asked “Who is there?” The first one asked if Nikolai Mikhailovich was at home. She said she would call him. When he came to the door, she heard, he asked “What is the business”? Then there was a shot. Elena Nikolaevna said it sounded like a firework. The bullet broke the mirror in the corridor. She heard her father screaming and then she saw him laying on the floor and heard the sound of running people. She called the ambulance. The father did not say anything and died 10 minutes later.

According to the expertise, the bullet went through the right shoulder and chest, broke the bone of upper arm and hurt lungs and aorta. It caused mass effusion of blood. You heard the expert conclusion that the damage of lungs and aorta caused the death.

Was Prokhorenko able to make this crime alone without his supporters Voevodin, Alexei and Andrei Kostrachenkov?

The victims think he was not. The organisation of this murder was very dangerous and in fact impossible for one person. He had to bring the gun, shoot Girenko, run with the gun and then hide it somewhere and stay unnoticed. It was impossible. That is why the accomplices were the Kostrachenkov brothers.

All happened according to Voevodin’s plan. Every member of the gang had their role and acted according to the developed and discussed plan, helping each other to make this crime. Girenko could have been alive if one of the accused did not play his role well. But there are no ifs in history. All roles were very well played, and the murder happened.

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