MOSCOW, February 12 – RIA Novosti. Mikhail Efremov's defense denied media reports that the artist's wife Sofia Kruglikova was summoned for interrogation in the case of bribery of three witnesses.
“I talked with Kruglikova at about one in the afternoon, she did not receive any summons (for interrogation – ed.),” Lawyer Pyotr Kharkhorin told RIA Novosti.
As the official representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia Irina Volk told reporters earlier, the Moscow head office opened three criminal cases against witnesses who are suspected of giving deliberately false testimony. During the trial, the defense of Efremov invited two men to the court, who allegedly saw that someone else was driving the actor's SUV. Another defense witness claimed that before the accident he noticed a stranger in the back seat of the artist's jeep. Their testimony was declared unreliable by the court.
Efremov himself, when considering an appeal in the Moscow City Court, said that he wanted to admit his guilt in a fatal road accident on Smolenskaya Square, but lawyer Elman Pashayev convinced him and offered to bribe witnesses, Pashayev denied these accusations. Efremov also called the appointment of this lawyer as his defender a mistake.
On the evening of June 8, 2020, in the center of Moscow, a drunken Efremov driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee crossed a double continuous line, drove into the oncoming lane and crashed into a Lada van, the driver of which, the courier of the online store Sergey Zakharov, subsequently died in hospital.
Following the high-profile trial, the Presnensky court sentenced Efremov to eight years in a general regime colony, then the Moscow City Court reduced the term to seven and a half years. The defense plans to appeal the verdict in cassation, the actor has already been transferred to a colony in the Belgorod region. The defenders who represented the interests of both parties – Pashayev and Alexander Dobrovinsky – lost their lawyer status.