During the trial, the prosecutor’s office requested a sentence of 8 years in a strict regime prison for Kirill Sukhanov, the commercial director of Ksenia Sobchak’s media holding “Caution, Media”.
Two more defendants who cooperated with Sobchak, the former editor-in-chief of the Tatler magazine Arian Romanovsky and the former Life journalist Tamerlan Bygaev, the prosecutor’s office is asking to sentence each to 7.5 years in prison.
Sukhanov, Romanovsky and Bygaev are accused of large-scale extortion. Sukhanov, according to the investigation, allegedly demanded 11 million rubles from the general director of Rostec state corporation Sergei Chemezov for the removal of negative materials about him in the Tushite svet Telegram channel. Bigaev was the administrator of this channel, and Romanovsky made materials for it.
The criminal case was initiated after Chemezov’s personal statement. Ksenia Sobchak initially called it a “roundup on the last free editorial office in Russia”, but later apologized to the general director of Rostec for the “actions of colleagues”.
- The case against the director and authors of the Tushite Svet Telegram channel is one of several other similar cases of extortion from officials and businessmen that have been brought against journalists over the past two years. So, in 2022, the police detained Alexandra Bayazitova, the host of the “Hell’s Grandmothers” blog, and the former administrators of the “Scanner Project” and Riddle telegram channels Alexei Slobodenyuk, Evgeny Moskvin, and Vladyslav Malushenko. All of them have already been sentenced. Bayazitova was given five years in a general-regime prison, found guilty of extorting 1.2 million rubles from the top manager of Promsvyazbank, Alexander Ushakov, and three administrators were sentenced to eight years in a strict-regime prison, allegedly for extorting 470,000 rubles from the director of special assignments of Rostec and the husband of television presenter Tina Kandelaka, Vasiliy Brovko.
- On Thursday, the Khamovniche court of Moscow sentenced the administrator of the Kremlin Mamkoved Telegram channel, Stanislav Sadovoy, to 2.5 years in prison – he was also found guilty of extortion from the top manager of Rostec, Brovko.