The case of a hired killer who has been hiding for 17 years has reached the court

On February 20, a preliminary hearing was held in the Moscow City Court in the case of Igor Kuzmenko, who was on the wanted list for 17 years. In addition to him, there are several other members of the “Les gang” from Rostov-on-Don Dmitry Lesnyakov in the dock.

They are accused of banditry, organizing a criminal community and participating in it, attempted murder, murder, intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm, robbery and illegal arms trafficking.

Igor Kuzmenko was detained in October 2020 at the border – he tried to leave Russia using a fake Ukrainian passport. The killer was sent to a pre-trial detention center – there he began to serve a sentence of six years, which he was sentenced to in the 2000s by the court of Volgodonsk. In the Rostov region, Kuzmenko was a member of one of the local groups and was engaged in robbery, kidnapping of businessmen, extortion, and contract killings. After the verdict, he fled the courtroom and joined the “Les gang”.

In a group? According to investigators, he was distinguished by his unchanging style – he did not kill with firearms, but using iron bars or crowbars to disguise attacks as robbery or hooliganism. The organized criminal group was engaged in racketeering, contract killings, beatings, we will sort it out and so on. In total, the “gang of the forest” has more than 50 especially serious crimes, including more than 20 murders.

After the gang leaders were detained, Kuzmenko managed to escape. For a long time he was hiding: he had three plastic surgeries, changed names regularly, and also tried to get rid of papillary patterns on his fingers. However, he did not succeed, he was eventually identified, including by them.

Read more in the exclusive Izvestia article:

He left the “Forest”: the trial of a mercenary who had been hiding for 17 years began

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