Chekists were unable to hook Sturgeon Junior

He received ten years in prison under the “anti-theft” article and ended up in the famous Vladimirsky Central prison. There, Asatryan started having problems with the administration, and he told his lawyers that the jailers tortured him with electric shocks and loud music. The defender went to Vladimir to help his client and found out that he was missing. According to lawyers, Seryozha Bentley could end up in one of the harshest colonies, becoming a victim of special services that take revenge on him for refusing to cooperate. Lenta.ru investigated the details of his case.

Sergey Asatryan is the son of Eduard Asatryan (Edik Osetrina), one of the most influential thieves in law in the entire post-Soviet space. Bentley Asatryan Jr. got his nickname from his favorite brand of car: he generally liked the beautiful life.

Sergey decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and in 2008 he received the title of thief in law, while by that time he had never been to prison. Asatryan corrected this shortcoming in his criminal “resume” in 2011, having received his first conviction for causing grievous bodily harm – not the most honorable article for a thief in law.

But Asatryan’s next conviction was just what he needed: in 2017, he received nine years in a special regime colony for extorting $1.2 million from businessman Karen Mkhitaryan. According to investigators, Seryozha Bentley threatened the merchant with reprisals, and then hired a group of unidentified persons who burned Mkhitaryan’s country house.

Asatryan did not admit his guilt: he claimed that he simply demanded that Mkhitaryan return the debt. However, the investigation had enough evidence – and Seryozha Bentley received quite a respectable term. Meanwhile, he was tried in Saratov and, while in the local pre-trial detention center, the criminal authority clearly did not waste time.

Having achieved recognition by other convicts of his authority in the criminal environment, [Асатрян — прим. «Ленты.ру»] appointed his proxies as the so-called “watchers” in correctional institutions of the Saratov region and initiated acts of mass violation of the regime of detention

from the message of the prosecutor’s office of the Saratov region

Soon after the verdict, Serezha Bentley was sent for transfer to the Nizhny Novgorod pre-trial detention center, where bad news awaited the thief in law. There came a “run” (thieves’ message), which was immediately signed by eight of his authoritative opponents, including influential thieves in law Dmitry Chanturia (Miron) and Vasily Khristoforov (Vasya Voskres). This “run” called into question the thieves’ title of Serezha Bentley.

The reason for this decision was the story that happened on March 23, 2013. Then, at a thieves’ meeting, a group of criminal authorities (including Miron) beat the father and son of the Asatryans. Beating (especially unavenged) is a terrible humiliation for a thief in law – that is why Serezha Bentley’s opponents said that he was stripped of his title. At the same time, the authors of the “run” did not dare to crown his father.

Six months later, in April 2019, article 210.1 (“Occupation of the highest position in the criminal hierarchy”) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation appeared in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, directed against thieves in law and suggesting a maximum punishment of up to 15 years in prison. And although Serezha Bentley had already lost his title by that time, this fact did not bother the investigators at all.

Responsible for tattoos

Having examined all the evidence, the Saratov Regional Court found Asatryan guilty under Article 210.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and sentenced him to eight years in prison. At that time, Seryozha Bentley had 3.5 years to sit in the extortion case.

By partial addition of sentences, he received ten years in prison: the first five – in prison, and the rest – in a special regime correctional colony

Meanwhile, there were many witnesses at the trial who spoke about the influence of Sergei Asatryan in the underworld and that he had repeatedly presented himself as a thief in law. But all these stories belonged to the time before April 2019, when the “anti-theft” article was adopted, and the law does not have retroactive effect.

One of the curious evidence in the case of Serezha Bentley was his tattoos, which were subjected to examination. From the conclusion of the criminologists, it follows that a tattoo with a spider crawling up (Asatryan has it) means that its wearer is a professional criminal who does not intend to “tie up” with crime.

According to experts, the eight-pointed stars on the spider’s abdomen and knees mean that this person occupies the highest position in the criminal hierarchy. And the eight-pointed stars on Asatryan’s lap are a ciphered phrase: “I will never kneel before anyone.”

However, it is worth noting that such tattoos are filled not only by the first persons of the underworld and not even by former prisoners. For example, sometimes they are found among supporters of the extremist movement “Prisoner Criminal Unity” (AUE) banned in Russia. So judging the rank of a person in the underworld by tattoos is not entirely correct. Moreover, the experts found out that Sergey Asatryan made his tattoos no later than August 2010. By the time the “anti-theft” article appeared in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, they were almost 11 years old.

Performance for a lawyer

Be that as it may, in October 2021, Serezha Bentley arrived to serve his sentence in the famous Vladimirsky Central prison. There, according to his defenders, Asatryan was kept in solitary confinement under constant video surveillance, where music played simultaneously from three speakers around the clock. The prisoner also told his lawyers that he was tortured with electric shocks and was not allowed to go for a walk for four months.

In early April 2022, after the defenders of the convict raised a fuss, Asatryan was taken from Vladimir Central to the Novosibirsk prison, and then to the Krasnoyarsk pre-trial detention center, where he disappeared. His lawyer Artur Aslamazov was only informed in the detention center that they did not have a prisoner. On April 26, the defender went to the administration of the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

According to the lawyer, he got to the head of the organized crime department, Major Amosov: he said that he “knew Asatryan’s whereabouts, but would not tell him.” Aslamazov believes that Major Amosov is one of those involved in putting pressure on his client. In search of a prisoner, in early May, lawyer Aslamazov visited the pre-trial detention center in Achinsk (Krasnoyarsk Territory), but he was not allowed to go there.

According to the defender, 15 minutes after he applied for a meeting with a prisoner, an alarm went off in the pre-trial detention center. National guardsmen and police officers arrived at the building, blocked the entrance and allegedly searched for a bomb in the detention center. When the search was over, Aslamazov was informed that all the offices for lawyers were occupied.

Employees of the Federal Penitentiary Service simply hid Asatryan from lawyers. I realized that he was in Achinsk, based on one sign: as soon as I submitted the documents to get to my client, “exercises” began in the pre-trial detention center. I have already seen similar performances in the Vladimir region – in this way they simply hide prisoners

On May 4, lawyer Aslamazov finally managed to meet with his client in the Achinsk pre-trial detention center. Sergei Asatryan stated that no violence was used against him – the defender also did not notice any traces of beatings on him. The Achinsk pre-trial detention center was supposed to become only a transit point for the prisoner: according to the rules, he can stay in the isolation ward for no more than 20 days.

And since Asatryan was sentenced to a prison regime, his Siberian “odyssey” was to continue in the prisons of Minusinsk or Yeniseisk. But on May 17, lawyer Artur Aslamazov told Lente.ru that his client disappeared from the Achinsk pre-trial detention center, but never appeared in any of the prisons. Where Serezha Bentley is now, his defenders do not know.

Went on principle

Why the fate of Sergei Asatryan in places of deprivation of liberty develops in such a strange way is an open question today. According to human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin, the thing is that, despite the intrigues of opponents and a harsh sentence, Serezha Bentley retained his high status in the underworld. And it is possible that the security forces wanted to use this status for their own purposes, but Asatryan refused to cooperate with them.

As Osechkin said in an interview with Lenta.ru, after human rights activists spoke about torture in the Saratov prison hospital, employees of the central offices of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) of Russia flew to Saratov to investigate.

Sergei Asatryan was in a very high status among the prisoners of the Saratov Federal Penitentiary Service. The operatives met with him and with another person with a similar status in the underworld, and said that it was necessary to “shut up the prisoners and calm them down”

Vladimir Osechkin

human rights activist

According to the human rights activist, Asatryan refused a deal with the security forces – and then he was offered a “cruise to all torture zones.” As a result, the prisoner was first sent to the institutions of the UFSIN in the Vladimir region, and then to Krasnoyarsk.

The special services take revenge on Asatryan for refusing to be their unspoken secret agent and for not stopping the prisoners in time. They showed solidarity, began to testify and achieved the initiation of the first landmark criminal cases of torture in the Saratov prison hospital

Vladimir Osechkin

human rights activist

At the same time, Osechkin believes that even if Sergei Asatryan wanted to somehow influence the prisoners, he would hardly have succeeded, and the story of torture in the Saratov prison hospital would still have thundered throughout the country. But the fact that at the beginning of the “torture” scandal the prisoners were not pressured or intimidated played an important role.

If Asatryan had cooperated with the FSB and the Federal Penitentiary Service, he would have been provided with comfortable conditions, good food and medical care, as well as telephone communications. But since he refused to cooperate, he immediately fell into disgrace.

Vladimir Osechkin

human rights activist

Today, the defense of Sergei Asatryan has already filed six lawsuits with the Federal Penitentiary Service related to the conditions of detention and violence against their client in various places of detention. There is still no response from the jailers to these complaints.

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