Former investigator of Russia’s Investigative Committee Mikhail Maslov has testified before the Kirovsky Federal Court in St Petersburg, telling about his role in the Furniture Trading House LLC real estate scheme, Kommersant reports. Maslov investigated into a number of cases of asset seizures in the team headed by Oleg Pipchenkov. Maslov said he fabricated evidence following orders of the superior investigator. Pipchenkov asked the Court to attach the following statement to the files of the criminal case: “At the first meeting Pipchenkov told us that there were certain leaders of the criminal mobs who would be punished in any case… Our task was to produce evidence, because they [the mobsters] would be sentenced by the orders from the very top”.

Pipchenkov’s team was investigating almost all major cases of forceful raids of St Petersburg-based enterprises, including Kumarin case (Kumarin is an alias of mobster Vladislav Barsukov). In June 2010, head of Matrosskaya Tishina, no.1 isolation ward of the Federal Prison Service, Col. Ivan Prokopenko sent a memorandum to justice minister Aleksandr Konovalov, prosecutor general Yury Chaika and head of the Investigative Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin. The memorandum was reported to contain an «appeal by Barsukov, the accused». Barsukov, Russian Mafia ( reports, has suffered two heart attacks and is a seriously ill person. “Pipchenkov and his subordinates refused to provide medical aid. They realised the impossibility to find evidence and decided to wrest the admission of guilt or to exterminate”, the document said.

Aleksandr Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee, has recently suspended Oleg Pipchenkov and investigator Nikolai Buyev from carrying out investigative activities on the allegation, published by Novaya Gazeta newspaper, that Oleg Rifert, the main suspect in the case of misappropriation of the shares of Arsenal machine building JSC, paid for Buyev’s treatment in a private clinic in St Petersburg.

It emerged recently that Buyev retired as an investigator of the Investigative Committee. He said that it was his own decision. Rifert rejected a plea bargain, which he early struck with the prosecutors. He said he had been under pressure signing the deal. The court returned the case to the Prosecutor General for reinvestigation.