S.-PETERSBURG, April 2 – RIA Novosti. Lawyer Alexander Pochuev, who previously defended the historian Oleg Sokolov, a graduate student convicted of the murder and dismemberment, said that he now represents the interests of the injured party in the case of Alexander Zemchenkov, the chief nephrologist of St. Petersburg, accused of dismembering the wife.
On Friday, the Oktyabrsky District Court ruled to arrest Zemchenkov.
“I am the lawyer (of the victims) of Gennady Aleksandrovich Kononov – the father of Irina Gennadyevna Zemchenkova – and her children.
According to him, “it is clear that always, if something happens to a relative, the first suspects are the spouse and family members.”
“But the investigation lasted more than 10 years, and all this time, the version of the involvement of Irina Zemchenkova's husband in her disappearance has been rechecked dozens of times and has not been confirmed. This is a complete surprise and tragedy for the family,” added the defender.
Earlier it was reported that the murder case was opened in March 2010 after the disappearance of Zemchenkov's wife, a mother of three children, who worked as a doctor in a maternity hospital. The crime remained unsolved for many years, but in December 2020, a 92-year-old resident of St. Petersburg complained to the head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Alexander Bastrykin, about investigators who could not solve the murder of his daughter. Bastrykin instructed the staff of the main department of forensic science to get involved in the case and as soon as possible establish all the circumstances of the crime.
Militiamen established that on that day the victim was not supposed to work at all and did not leave the house. Zemchenkov, 60, was arrested on March 30, interrogated with a polygraph, and then charged with murder.
According to the materials of the criminal case, on February 23, 2010, Zemchenkov, in an apartment at his house on Chapygin Street in St. Petersburg, killed his wife during a quarrel, after which he “dismembered her body, parts of which he threw into garbage containers.” Later, in order to cover up the crime, he turned to the police with a statement that his wife had left home for work and was missing. By a court decision in 2020, she was declared deceased.
One of the most notorious crimes involving the murder and dismemberment of the victim's body took place in St. Petersburg in November 2019. According to the investigation, historian Oleg Sokolov shot a graduate student and his beloved at home in St. Petersburg with a cut off hunting carbine, and then decided to get rid of the body by dismembering it with a saw and a hacksaw. Later, the associate professor was pulled out of the Moika River, and a bag with parts of a woman's body was found in his backpack, other fragments were found by investigators in Sokolov's apartment. In December 2020, the historian was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison on charges of murder and illegal possession of weapons and ammunition.