The performance, which turned into the criminal case of Mikhail Efremov, is over. On September 8, the Presnensky Court of Moscow sentenced the actor to eight years in a general regime colony. Judge Elena Abramova gave the artist three years less than the prosecutor asked for, and exactly as much as the relatives of the driver Sergei Zakharov, who died in an accident, demanded. But neither the defense nor the prosecution got the applause. The audience’s reaction to this performance was very mediocre: “Come on! We thought they would give more … “- swept along the corridor next to the courtroom immediately after the verdict was announced.
This process could not end calmly: from the very morning the performance began on two stages at once. Malaya, near the house of Mikhail Efremov, gathered his devoted fan-grannies. Under their gaze, the actor’s wife Sofia Kruglikova took the children to school. A little later, Efremov himself showed up. True, he went to the final action of the court play with only one thin blue folder with documents. The artist took neither warm clothes, nor any other belongings with him. Those present began to whisper: is it really hoping for something?
On the main stage, near the Presnensky court, in the meantime, the action unfolded more abruptly. Everyone was here: a man in the form of a digger, or a ghost hunter, monks, a real shaman in feathers. A couple of minutes before the start of the announcement of the verdict, a column of girls in carnival costumes marched past the stunned bailiffs and police officers. The ubiquitous grandmothers here snatched their moment of glory, lining up in a row in front of television cameras with photographs of Mikhail Efremov in their hands. The photo bore an inspiring inscription: “Misha, you are not alone.”
Close friends came to support the actor – Garik Sukachev and Ivan Okhlobystin. Both celebrities opted to sneak into the courthouse and take a bench in the back corner on the second floor, away from Hall 11 and the press crowd. The main TV star of this process, the defendant’s defender Elman Pashayev, meanwhile, was emotionally explaining something to Sofya Kruglikova. While the parties were pulling up to the courtroom, something unimaginable began to happen on the approaches to the courthouse.
Two men decided to perform a voodoo-style ceremony with the burning of dolls. It is not clear who the ritual was aimed at. The homegrown shamans were quickly tied up by law enforcement officials.
Efremov himself appeared in court, as usual, quietly and unnoticed. Even the shocking baseball cap with the inscription “Non grata”, which used to be often an element of his judicial wardrobe, the actor this time left at home. He came to meet his destiny in a modest dark gray jacket, blue shirt and jeans. There is a permanent medical mask on the face, behind which it is difficult to recognize the emotions of the actor. Although his body language betrayed him. Entering the hall, Efremov got up, hunched over, stared at the blue folder, and remained frozen in this position until the end of the announcement. Sofya Kruglikova, on the contrary, could not hide her excitement and grief. The woman stood directly opposite Judge Elena Abramova and placed two pocket icons on the table in front of her. As soon as the judge began to read the first words of the verdict: “Efremov committed a traffic violation that resulted in the death of the victim …” – the actor’s wife closed her eyes and began nervously drumming her fingers on the table.
There were no surprises in the verdict itself, the reading of which lasted two hours. The court did not believe a single word of the defense witnesses Alyaksandr Kobets, Andrei Gayev and Tevan Badasyan.
What is the further fate of this trinity is not yet known. The prosecution previously asked the judge to send material against witnesses for the defense to law enforcement agencies to initiate a criminal case under article 307 of the Criminal Code “Giving deliberately false testimony”. Nevertheless, there is not a word about this in the verdict.
Elena Abramova also walked through the version of the sudden loss of memory by the actor. Perhaps, after a while, some episodes from his memories were erased. But too much Efremov spoke against himself immediately after the accident and the next day. And to the traffic police officers who drove up to analyze the accident, he honestly admitted that it was he who was driving the SUV. And he said the same to eyewitnesses of the tragedy.
Perhaps the only one of the “people of Elman Pashayev” who was lucky this time was an expert auto technician Yuri Fialko. The one who advanced in court a fantastic hypothesis about the influence of energy waves on Efremov’s car or the interception of control by hackers. Judge Elena Abramova condescendingly noted in the verdict that the expert’s statements are a common set of facts from automotive practice. But they have nothing to do with the case of an accident on Smolenskaya Square.
Moving on to the culmination, the judge noted that when sentencing, she takes into account the whole bouquet of mitigating circumstances for Efremov. Three young children, undermined health, many years of creative life and state awards. No aggravating circumstances were found. Against this background, it sounded even more offensive: “The court finds that the defendant’s correction is possible only in conditions of isolation from society.”
And then another blow: eight years in a general regime colony.
Mikhail Efremov seemed to be ready to hear this figure – he didn’t even shift from foot to foot, stood rooted to the spot. Sofya Kruglikova stood, clutching the hand of a relative, on which she leaned all the time while the sentence was being read. Against the background of such a silent tragedy, the reaction of lawyers from both sides looked like a special blasphemy. Elman Pashayev’s straight back and absolute zero regret on his face. And his main opponent is in the eternal butterfly, imposingly flipping something on the smartphone screen. As if he already knew everything in advance and nothing could surprise him. I involuntarily recalled the story of the writer Teffi “Fashion Lawyer”, where the defense attorney tried so hard to add sharpness and brightness to the boring process of putting up leaflets that he “achieved” the death penalty for his client.
I wonder what words Pashayev found for his client? Sympathy, a promise to turn everything 180 degrees in the appeal, or at least the banal “sorry, Misha”? One can only guess about this: immediately after the announcement of the verdict, the bailiffs asked the press to hastily leave the hall.
They took Mikhail Efremov out in handcuffs. By the decision of the judge, he was taken into custody in the courtroom. While the actor walked along the corridor, accompanied by guards, he again did not utter a word. A strange thing – none of the journalists, of whom this time there were so many that some did not even fit in the corridor and were forced to be on duty on the stairs, did not dare to ask the actor a single question. Everyone was so impressed by the performance, of which they became involuntary spectators.
The shock was not even caused by the term. Although, in fairness, it should be noted that through the efforts of lawyers, Mr. Efremov ended up in the absolute minority of those accused under Article 264 of the Criminal Code, to whom the court assigns more than five years in prison. The dry statistics of the Judicial Department under the Supreme Court will speak volumes about the failure of the defense. In 2019, 3177 people were convicted under parts 3 and 4 of Article 264 of the Criminal Code. Of these, 1896 were sentenced to imprisonment, including suspended sentences. In real terms, the alignment is clearly not in favor of the strategy of Efremov’s defenders. Up to 1 year received 207 people. From one to two years – 796 people. From three to five years – 261 defendants. From five to eight years – 21 people. Not a single accused under the “Efremov” article received a prison term of eight to ten years last year.
But much more shocking is the fact that the victims of this verdict, in fact, won nothing. The court only partially satisfied the claim of Valery Zakharov (the eldest son of the deceased). Instead of the required 7 million 300 thousand, he was awarded only 800 thousand rubles. Approximately so much Efremov transferred to the victims when they refused his money. So there is an involuntary feeling that there are no winners in this process. Except for the lawyers, who again shone in front of television cameras.
True, this time Elman Pashayev was laconic:
– We will, we will! – the lawyer muttered on the run when the journalists asked him about his intention to appeal the verdict.
The prosecution arranged the verdict. Prosecutor Diana Galiullina called it legal and fair. If the appeal takes place, Mikhail Efremov will have to wait for him in the pre-trial detention center. According to lawyers, the actor will have to spend two months in the dungeons at best. Of course, this time will be credited to him as punishment. At the moment, the court has already credited him with the time spent under house arrest. True, it turned out sparsely. According to the set-off rules, house arrest is the most disadvantageous measure of restraint: two days spent at home are equated to one day in a colony. So 90 days of house arrest magically turned into 45 days. The countdown for Mikhail Efremov started from today. He will have to spend 7 years and 10 and a half months behind bars.
Sentence to Efremov in photographs: views and passions
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