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Former Roskosmos head believed to have been murdered in detention center cell; investigation underway.
Source: Kommersant

The team investigating the death of former Roskosmos executive director Vladimir Evdokimov is inclined to suspect that the killing was ordered by contract, reported the newspaper Kommersant on Monday, citing sources close to the investigation.

Evdokimov’s intention to cooperation with investigators and provide evidence in another case could have served as the motive for the murder, said the newspaper’s interlocutors.

Citing the representatives of Moscow’s Public Monitoring Commission, newspaper RBC reported that a month before his death Evdokimov was transferred from a special unit at detention center No. 5 (Vodnik) to a regular cell. According to Central Control Commission member Ivan Melnikov, this cell, unlike the previous one, had no video surveillance.

“The directorate of the isolation unit had filed an application [for video surveillance equipment], but cameras [have yet to be provided pending] the allocation of funds. Most rooms have no video surveillance. Earlier, [Evdokimov] was [in a special unit] and could be [monitored] there,” Melnikov said.

Kommersant noted that Evdokimov’s transfer to another cell was “unexpected.” The new cell was designed for 12 people, while the previous one could accommodate only six people. Public Monitoring Commission deputy Yeva Merkacheva told the publication that the Commission had received no complaints from the former Roskosmos director in regards to his conditions either in the old or new cell.

Vladimir Evdokimov was found dead in a cell in penal colony no. 5 on the morning of March 18. Initially, sources said that the former Roskosmos director had committed suicide, but later it was announced that a criminal investigation was underway on suspicion of murder. Evdokimov’s body had stab wounds.

In December 2016, Evdokimov was taken into custody for fraud in the supply of helicopter components to Russian aircraft corporation MiG in 2007-2009, when he was deputy director of the United Aircraft Corporation. Damages in these operations were estimated at 200 million rubles.