A three year long trial for Polukhins family is coming to an end in Voronezh. Family members are accused of forming a criminal group for drug distribution. At May 21, 2015 the prosecutor asked to imprison a retired colonel Alexander Polukhin for nine years, his wife Maria and daughter Eugenia for six and a half years each, and the sister of his wife Nina Chursin – for six years and seven months. The reason for criminal prosecution was the family business – Polukhins opened a cafe “Ochag” (“Hearth”), where they were sold homemade pastries, including muffins with poppy seeds. “Novaya Gazeta” has told that this case was stretching all the way from 2010.
According to the prosecution, Polukhins were mixing poppy seeds with opium and selling the “mixture” to addicts. Federal Service for Drug Control (FDCS) has described Alexander Polukhin’s role in the way that “as a retired military senior officer, a professional in matters of tactics and strategies, he developed conspiratorial methods in order to avoid possible arrest.”
Polukhin states that the root cause of all the proceedings is his family’s refusal to “complicit in the blatant corruption legal relationship with the Federal Drug Control Service.” The defendants deny the accusations in the creation of some kind of “mixture” and insist on the known fact that poppy seed always contains traces of drugs. A hundred percent clean poppy is technically impossible to achieve.
“Novaya Gazeta” quotes from the transcripts of the court and suggests that the judge Tatyana Lebedeva fully supports the position of the public prosecution. The transcript, in particular, contains the following sentence from the judge to Polukhin: “Yes, after such attitudes and behavior, I think you have to “sit” (be imprisoned – RRT) for a long time.”