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Germany gave Russia a suspect in the smuggling of cocaine from Argentina, contrary to the requests of lawyers

The Russian authorities sent the businessman to Matrosskaya Tishina.

From Germany to Russia extradited businessman and a figurant of the “cocaine case” of contraband from Argentina, Andrei Kovalchuk. His lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov told TASS and Novaya Gazeta about this .

According to Kovalchuk’s defense, he was charged with drug smuggling and sent to the Matrosskaya Tishina detention center. The businessman was “very tired” and refused to testify under Article 51 of the Constitution (“No one is obliged to testify against himself”).

Before the extradition Kovalchuk was under arrest in the Berlin prison “Moabit”. The lawyer of the businessman opposed his extradition to Russia because of the threat of life imprisonment. They noted that the German Criminal Code permits the conduct of a trial against Kovalchuk on the territory of the country, since Germany can prosecute for the illegal distribution of drugs even outside the state. Also, the defense side warned about “catastrophic” conditions in the Russian SIZO.

The scandal surrounding the smuggling of cocaine began to develop in February 2018. Then the Minister of Security of Argentina told that in December 2016, the Russian ambassador in this country Victor Coronneli found cocaine in the back room of the school with a diplomatic mission in Buenos Aires.

The situation with the discovery of cocaine was not told publicly, but they arranged a special operation, replacing the drug with flour and installing GPS transmitters in its suitcases. Then Argentina and Russia agreed on a controlled delivery, during which six people were arrested. Among them was Kovalchuk, who was unofficially considered “the curator of employees of Russian embassies from the special services.” The Russian Foreign Ministry claims that he did not work for the embassy staff.

Andrei Kovalchuk at the reception in the Embassy of Argentina in February 2016
Andrei Kovalchuk at the reception in the Embassy of Argentina in February 2016
. Photo of the ” Present Time “

Kovalchuk considers himself innocent and claims that he was not going to transport cocaine. According to him, he bought 360 kilograms of coffee, cigarettes and cognac in Argentina, after which he left the goods in the back room of the school. A consonant version of the lawyers, he was given cocaine.

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