Russian citizen Igor Sychev worked for PhosAgro, a large Russian chemical company, for many years, but was forced to flee the country due to threats. Since 2016, he has been living in Latvia as a refugee, but even now he is being threatened and is afraid for his life. Igor Sychev publishes an open statement about what is happening to him now.
Written testimony and victim’s statement
(about ordering my murder by PhosAgro shareholders and their corruption)
I am a victim in criminal case No. 11087073322, initiated by the Latvian Police on 03.10.22 on the facts of numerous death threats. The incomplete list of threats as of today exceeds 100, and only in April-May of this year I received about 30 threats.
I am a citizen of Russia, but since 2016 I have been living in Latvia under refugee status, which was granted to me by the Latvian authorities due to the fact that some Russian oligarchs (owners of one of the largest companies PhosAgro) who are closely connected with Putin (in this regard, after the Putin regime unleashed the criminal war in Ukraine, some of them became under the sanctions of almost all civilized countries of the world), committed fraudulent actions against me. After I began to take legal steps to protect my interests, these oligarchs (1) made several attempts to kill me in a generally dangerous way, trying to stage them as accidents (road accidents), and (2) after unsuccessful attempts to kill me, they fabricated a criminal case against me, blackmailing me with this criminal case (they demanded that I drop my financial claims against them).
After fleeing Russia, I filed a civil lawsuit against PhosAgro and its main owners, A.G. Guryev and I.D. Antoshin, in a British court. After filing the lawsuit, I began to receive numerous new death threats, which were accompanied by demands that I drop the lawsuit (that is, it is extortion under death threats). Some of the threats were made even in relation to my children.
Back in 2017, Latvian journalists (De Facto program on Latvian television), with my participation discovered that PhosAgro shareholders have ties with the Latvian elite. And these relations are clearly illegal.
In October 2011, I contacted the London Police in connection with the threats. I applied there because these threats were related to the British legal proceedings, some of the threats came from England, and PhosAgro’s shareholders have close ties with England. However, the British police referred me to the Latvian police, and in the end, only a year later, the Latvian police opened the criminal case on death threats.
More than six months have passed since the criminal case was initiated, but so far no one has been involved at least as a suspect, despite the fact that some of the most serious threats came from persons known to me (and the investigation) and were recorded by me on a dictaphone.
Due to the inexplicable inaction of the investigation, I have been forced to address the leadership of the Latvian law enforcement agencies with an open letter. Among other things, I asked that the investigation be transferred from the ordinary police department to a higher level, namely to a unit specializing in organized crime (moreover, of an international nature), but this has not yet been done, which looks strange, if only for the reason that not a single criminal episode has been investigated so far by the ordinary district police department.
In addition, I created a petition describing what is happening, which is signed by more than 60 thousand people. The petition is also addressed to the Latvian authorities.
ADDITIONAL STATEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE INFORMATION about ordering my murder
In my written statements dated 22 and 27 May, I reported that a person whom I do not know and who uses the email address [email protected] (James Durand), informed me that he had information about PhosAgro shareholders ordering my murder by poisoning or staging an accident and that they use the British lawyer Edward Crosse to bribe English judges.
In addition, on 25 May, this person wrote that he had information that the main shareholder of PhosAgro, A.G. Guryev, had organized 24/7 surveillance of me. In each email, James Durand confirmed his initial words about ordering my murder and wrote that it would happen very soon.
In connection with this development of events (the transition from death threats to ordering my murder), I asked the investigator for a personal meeting in order to be additionally interrogated in person. This meeting took place on 31 May 2023.
During this meeting, the investigator informed me that measures are now being taken to identify the source of information about the order for my murder, that is, the person who writes me emails under the name of James Durand. In this regard, I asked that the protocol of the interrogation contains that regardless of whether the police can identify this person or not, an additional qualification should be added to the criminal case of death threats – preparation for murder (Articles 15 and 116 of the Criminal Law). As a justification, I gave the following – judging by the emails, the situation looks like this person really has information about what is happening around my conflict with PhosAgro and its shareholders, and knows such details that an uninformed person cannot know.
In addition, the words of this person about ordering my murder fully correspond to what was previously said to me in direct text many times by people acting in collusion with PhosAgro shareholders. I mean those individuals whose names I have asked to be recorded in the interrogation report once again:
(1) Maxim Lushkin (2018, lines 8-15 of the threat list). He said in plain text that if I did not drop the lawsuit in England against PhosAgro and its shareholders, the main owners of PhosAgro, A.G. Guryev and I.D. Antoshin, will kill me in Latvia (line 9 of the list of threats). His words were recorded on a dictophone and are also confirmed by Valery Stepanov and Maris Celms in their written witness statements, which they gave in the framework of the English trial and which are included in the materials of this criminal case. So, Stepanov (being an experienced lawyer), based on the results of listening to the audio recording, confirmed that it had been precisely about death threats and a demand to drop the lawuit. Maris Celms was personally present during my telephone conversation with Lushkin and confirmed the content of the conversation.
(2) Vladimir Bobylev (Ukraine), Alexey Baryshnikov (Ukraine), Vitaly Pakhomov (Ukraine), Marina Auzine (Latvia), who in 2021 acted together as one team, posing as “investors” for the trial, also said in plain text that if I do not assign the lawsuit to them, then PhosAgro shareholders would organizing my contract murder in Latvia. In the list of threats, these are lines 16-27, of which I will especially highlight line 16, in which Bobylev’s words are reproduced verbatim (on the basis of the audio recording) at our personal meeting on 21 June 2021 in Riga (that is, on the territory of Latvia), that if I transfer the lawsuit to them, this will eliminate the threat of my contract murder by PhosAgro shareholders.
Against this background, today’s information from James Durand that PhosAgro shareholders have actually ordered my murder is completely consistent with the previous events. Moreover, (1) I did not drop the lawsuit (as PhosAgro shareholders demanded in 2018 through Lushkin, who then officially worked for Antoshin, and lied to me that he was unemployed), and (2) I did not assign the claim to Ukrainian-Latvian “investors” (as PhosAgro shareholders demanded in 2021). Not only have I not complied with these demands, accompanied by death threats (which is extortion), but I actively continue the English proceedings and use all legal mechanisms available to me to achieve justice. Therefore, ordering my assassination looks like a completely logical step on the part of PhosAgro shareholders.
And the fact that PhosAgro shareholders are really capable to make such a radical step (killing me) is convincingly confirmed by the fact that they have already tried to kill me in Russia. At the same time, they tried to do it exactly in the form that James Durand is now writing about – by staging an accident.
Against the background of all this, the words of James Durand look more than plausible and more than enough to initiate a criminal case under Articles 15 and 116 (or 117 or 118).
A refusal to add a new qualification to the existing criminal case can only be justified if the investigation already has convincing evidence that the words of James Durand are not true. As I found out, the investigation does not have such evidence, since the identity of this James Durand has not yet been established.
I am very afraid for my life and explain what is happening by the fact that right now in the English court proceedings is a very important period – the Court of Appeal should consider my complaint against the previous judgment issued by Deputy Judge Mr Beltrami KC, whom I suspect of corruption, as he turned out to be very closely connected with the lawyers of the defendants (namely, with the aforementioned firm Simmons & Simmons, where Edward Crosse works) and, contrary to the requirements of the law, hid from me information about his close ties with the opposite side of the dispute.
I insist on initiating a criminal case under Articles 15 and 116 (or 117 or 118) of the Criminal Code.
I ASK FOR THE PROTECTION MEASURES UNDER THE WITNESS AND VICTIMS PROTECTION PROGRAM.
I believe that in view of the foregoing, new and very serious grounds have appeared for transferring the criminal case to a higher level – to a unit specializing in organized international crime. Moreover, given the information that my murder will be carried out by poisoning, which poses a threat to life not only for me, but also for other people.
Victim Igor Sychev