Market owner found guilty of assassination

  • 2004-05-06
  • By The Baltic Times
TALLINN – One of the most controversial criminal cases in the last decade came to an end on Wednesday, as Vadim Polischuk, owner of Tallinn's Central Market, was found guilty of ordering the assassination of businessman and Tallinn Deputy Mayor Mait Metsamaa.

The Tallinn Court sentenced Polischuk, 55, to nine years in jail. Andrei Dudochkin, 30, who was contracted by the market employees on Polischik's request to kill Metsamaa for $1,000, received the same sentence.
Valery Kuznetsov, 38, head of the security service at Central Market, and security employee Sergei Normanov, 29, were sentenced to eight years in prison for planning the murder and contracting the killer.
Metsamaa was shot five times in the head and the chest and died on Oct. 12 in 1999 in the doorway of his apartment house in downtown Tallinn. At the time police said the death involved a conflict over the privatization of Central Market.
"Taking into account the gravity of the crime, the fact that the suspects rejected the charges, dragged the court process, put pressure on witnesses and attempted to change their testimony, it is only possible to punish them with actual imprisonment," said judge Violetta Kovask.Polischuk was taken to jail right from the courthouse, and his lawyer promised to appeal the court decision.
The court's decision was based to a larger extent on the mobile phone call records of the suspects, and another major evidence was the information from the confession of Dudochkin he made at the early stage of the investigation but tried to change later.