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HE WAS TORTURED AND THREATENED WITH INCITEMENT TO SUICIDE

HE WAS TORTURED AND THREATENED WITH INCITEMENT TO SUICIDE

Yevgeny Petrin, an employee of the Department of External Church Relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate who was detained as a suspect for high treason, had left the Federal Security Service (FSS) in 2013 but had not stopped his counterespionage activity, reports Commersant with reference to his brother Alexei Petrin. According to the suspect’s family members, he had exposed a spy ring in DECR targeted at “causing schism between the Russian and the Ukrainian churches”, but was brought to criminal liability in the course of his investigation.

According Alexei Petrin, his brother Yevgeny Petrin was employed by FSS in 2011. “Before that he had graduated from a military academy in Moscow. He always wanted to serve his motherland. He never told us anything on his visits to our home in Irkutsk Region because his service was a secret one. Anyway, I knew that he had the rank of Major and was involved in counterespionage”, told Alexei in his interview to Commersant. According to Mr. Petrin, his brother resigned from service in FSS in 2013 due to a conflict with his superior officers who allegedly disliked his zeal. In August of that year Yevgeny joined the staff of DECR and started thinking of priesthood. “Yet, he never stopped monitoring the situation at his new place of employment and was therefore able to detect the US agents working in DECR and attempting to incite schism between the Orthodox Churches of Russia and Ukraine”, noted the suspect’s brother.

In Alexei Petrin’s words, the planted moles planned to ebb the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine. Their scheme envisaged, inter alia, the instigation of a conflict between the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Alexei Petrin asserted that Daniel Bilak, a Ukraine-based Managing Partner of CMS Cameron McKenna LLC, an international law firm, was one of the coordinators of this scheme. According to press reports, the firm’s law office in Ukraine represents numerous foreign corporations, including Shell and Exxon.

However, according to Alexei, the information gathered by his brother had turned out to be of no interest to FSS, so he decided to keep on contacting with the alleged agents in order to fish out more information from them. He initiated his own investigation in order to obtain the knowledge of a greater number of facts. Therefore, he communicated with these individuals within the limits of the law. But FSS eventually concluded that he had been providing the agents with state secrets.

In April 2014 Yevgeny Petrin had sent his last mail to FSS and in June his home was raided by field investigators who showed a search warrant issued within the framework of the case of high treason instituted against him. “He was then tortured for 14 hours and forced to incriminate himself. He was threatened with incitement to suicide, so he had to admit his guilt”, said Alexei.

According to the suspect’s brother, for several months Yevgeny had been confident that the investigators would puzzle the matter out but later he started writing complaints to the Prosecutor General’s Office, FSS and the Investigative Committee. In his complaints Yevgeny Petrin insisted that his confessions had been beaten out of him by FSS investigators Denis Krokhmal and Alexander Soyma. However, no proof of these complaints had been found by the oversight bodies, and the accusations of slander were added to the accusations of high treason. “We were trying to find out what should be done and now my brother allowed us to disclose the incident”, said Alexei Petrin.

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