Mikhail Trepashkin - Investigation of Russian Apartment Bombings and Imprisonment

Investigation of Russian Apartment Bombings and Imprisonment

Mikhail Trepashkin was invited by MP Sergei Kovalev to assist in an independent inquiry of the Russian apartment bombings. Two sisters whose mother was killed in one of the houses hired Trepashkin to represent them in the trial of two Russian Muslims accused of transporting explosives for the bombings.

While preparing for the trial Trepashkin claims he uncovered a trail of a suspect whose description had disappeared from the files. He claimed that the man turned out to be an FSB member named Vladimir Romanovich, the same man he claimed had been working for criminals in the Moscow Bank Soldi raid of 1995. Trepashkin said that a witness identified only the first of the 2 composite images distributed by the official investigation. This implied that the official investigation doctored the composite image to hide the perpetrators from the FSB. But Trepashkin never managed to air his findings in court. On October 22, 2003, just a week before the hearings, Trepashkin was arrested for illegal arms possession. He was convicted by a closed military court to four years for illegal arms possession, for revealing state secrets and for abuse of the office. An appeal court later overturned the arms possession charge, but the other sentence remained. In September 2005 after serving two years of his sentence, Trepashkin was released on parole, but two weeks later was re-arrested after the State appealed the parole decision.

Trepashkin investigated a letter attributed to Achemez Gochiyayev and found that the alleged Gochiyayev's assistant who arranged the delivery of sacks might have been vice-president of Kapstroi-2000 Kormishin, originally from Vyazma.

Mikhail Trepashkin suffered from asthma with bronchial attacks on a daily basis, itching dermatosis and pain in the area of his heart, and he needed medical treatment. However, he told Amnesty International that he was denied medical treatment, held in a freezing punishment cell, and transported with imprisoned tuberculosis patients who "were coughing right into your face because they were unable to either cover their mouths or turn away."

On November 30, 2007 Mikhail Trepashkin was freed with the expiration of his four-year prison term.

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