Our family suffers persecution from the CICIG , led by Russian government for over 4 years now. Although the law prohibits criminal prosecution of migrants for the use and creation of falsified documents, our entire family was imprisoned and sentenced to 14 and 19 years on prison for alterations in personal documents executed by the highest risk courts of said CICIG. The criminal proceedings against us were initiated by the Russian state banks: Gazprombank and VTB, which acted in full collaboration with the CICIG. The VTB bank participated directly in the process as an adhesive complainant using support from CICIG.
Unfortunately, there are many parties interested in hiding the truth. CICIG sponsors never investigated the collaboration between CICIG and Russia and at the same time declare that there is no evidence of the collusion between CICIG and Moscow.
But there are plenty of evidence, allow me to present them.
The Russian press gives us the first proof. Immediately after our arrest the same Russian newspapers issued numerous publications on CICIG’s key role in the persecution against us. The expressions they used were more than clear: «It was not the police who found the Bitkov, but the lawyers of the VTB bank, those who acted as true detectives. They managed to locate the family in Guatemala … In December last year (2014), the lawyers of the VTB bank brought into the Bitkov process – the International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG) … By request of CICI, the police arrived at the house of the Bitkov with arrest warrant ”
“… Russian Ambassador to Guatemala Nikolay Babich clarified that there is no extradition agreement between Guatemala and Russia although they are in the process of preparing one. However, the extradition of the Bitkovs is also possible through a bilateral agreement… The press service of VTB bank has declared with great satisfaction that the capture of the Bitkovs was possible thanks to coordinated actions of VTB bank and CICIG… ”
Kommersant, article on the collaboration between VTB Bank and CICIG
The second piece of evidence is that the Russian state bank VTB has directly participated in our case as an adhesive complainant. VTB has also named as their representative the substitute magistrate of the Constitutional Court Henry Comte. The act naming said representative was signed by the president of VTB Bank personally – Andrey Kostin who is a close friend of V. Putin
All this judicial fraud was carried out by CICIG that promoted the interests of the bank without any legitimate support. It was an obvious act of corruption, and CICIG used its mandate for illegal interests of Russian state.
CICIGs representative, Claudia Gonzalez, asks Judge Galvez to establish the VTB bank as an adhesive complainant, providing the judge with false information about supposed crimes committed in Russia.
For a long time I thought it was only Henry Comte, the intermediary between the Russian government and CICIG, but it was clarified that there was another character much closer to Ivan Velazquez and there was another bank of the Russian criminal state, Gazprombank – that acted clandestinely.
Its president, Alfonso Carillo, a person close to Ivan Velazquez, received the mandate to persecute our family directly from the other great friend of V. Putin – Andrey Akimov, president of Gazprombank . Alfonso Carrillo has committed the crime of influence trafficking in order to to involve CICIG in criminal prosecution against our family, according to the testimony of a former CICIG official. Despite the negative answer of said official, Ivan Velazquez ordered the persecution against us to begin, violating CICIG mandate and international and national laws that protect migrants.
To favor Russian banks, Ivan Velazquez personally ordered the attorney general Thelma Aldana to transfer the case against the Bitkovs from metropolitan office to FECI and in particular to prosecutor Estuardo Campos, which operates under the command of CICIG.
This allowed CICIG to maintain the case against the Bitkovs in the highest risk court, in the hands of the judges who obey CICIG.
From October 2014 until the arrest of the whole family on January 15, 2015, CICIG has carried out constant monitoring of all members of our family and even Anastasia’s boyfriend, this investigation is recorded in 4 CICIG reports with more than 100 pages where collaboration with Russian banks is confirmed and false accusations of the Russian government are used as basis.
At the unilateral hearing on January 14, 2015, it was CICIG that asks for the immediate arrest of our entire family, offering Judge Galvez false information from the VTB Bank of Russia.
Judge Galvez dictates an arrest warrant for us, based on the false arguments given by the CICIG which the have heard from Russian banks.
After the arrest, where more than 100 armed police officers have participated and which was led by CICIG, the bank demanded to keep us in jail and CICIG once again supported the bank. CICIG and the VTB bank systematically misinformed judges, hiding evidence of our innocence time and time again. To keep us in jail they said we are foreigners and we have no right to house arrest.
The CICIG representative Claudia Gonzalez lied that our entry into the country was anomalous.
But to avoid the application of the Migration Law, which protects migrants, the same CICIG representative said that we are not migrants.
When Judge Galvez realized that he was deceived by CICIG he granted house arrest for Irina and Anastasia, it was CICIG, who along with the VTB bank opposed the granting of house arrest and it was because of their insistence that I have remained in jail for 3 and a half years.
CICIG representative Claudia Gonzalez manipulated the law in respect to what the term migrant means, stating that it does not apply to us because we are not poor, she had literally said that and the puppeteer judges of CICIG pretended that it made sense.
Very soon, Judge Galvez was replaced by CICIG judge Erica Aifan who blindly complied with everything required by CICIG and the bank.
Aqui podemos ver como en la audienca de 30.01.2017 , Aifan promueve ilegalmente los intereses del banco VTB que pertenece a Putin . ¿ Que interés tiene la juez , por que trabaja para el banco? Saben congresistas demócratas de esto? Esto es corrupción y crimen internacional . pic.twitter.com/ItrYvgBLv3
— Igor Bitkov (@Igor_Bitkov) August 9, 2019
Judge Aifan had numerous meetings with the agents of the VTB and Gazpombank banks. There is a photo where Aifan and Gazprombank representative Alfonso Carrillo are in a restaurant together during Aifan work time.
On October of 2017, 3 months before the debate began, Judge Aifan sent a letter to the Russian embassy where she informed them about the «planned sentences» for our family. Thus, the CICIG judge has violated numerous laws and judicial ethic, even though she knew that we are exempted from criminal responsibility for these crimes as migrants.
When we challenged the judge for committing the crimes and violating due process, once again it was CICIG that supported Aifan in these circumstances.
CICIG lied stating that they knew nothing about the political persecution against our family. There are many recordings from the audiences where this subject is discussed. CICIG representative Claudia Gonzalez has always repeated the same during all the audiences – that the political persecution we suffer from has nothing to do with the case and should not be taken into account.
Ivan Velazquez was fully informed of everything because he had two personal meetings with Irina Bitkova and received all the information about our case
There is a stain on the CICIG worse than everything in this story. I could not understand at the time, how it came out that when the Russian embassy and the full-powerful representative of V. Putin – Pavel Astajov declared that they will remove our little son Vladimir from his tutors appointed by our request, immediately the Childhood attorney and the judge met their illegal demands and our son was sent to an orphanage. Years later I discovered that it was CICIG who has pressed the judicial system to send our 3 years old son to an orphanage. According to testimony given by the childhood attorney Haroldo Flores CICIG representative visited him and forced him to send our son to the orphanage.
After this cruel act, Russian ambassador Nikolay Babich proposed to Irina to give our son Russian citizenship and to send him alone to Russia, as the only way to return him from the orphanage. Our son was and still is a Guatemalan born citizen, he never had Russian citizenship. Thus the Russian government and CICIG acted to pressure us through the threat that our son who just turned 3 years of age will remain in the orphanage.
But Guatemalan justice still worked despite all the efforts of CICIG. The appeals court has returned our son to us as well as annulling the resolution of judge Aifan to send us to the debate stage of the process. The Constitutional Court has confirmed this decision. Final amparos resolutions were issued: of 02.27.2017 of the CC; of 19. 10.2017 of room 3 of appeals; of 04.25.2018 of the CC; of 05.22.2018 -the proper execution of the appeals room 3, to force the court to comply with the law and free our family from all accusations.
However, CICIG commits influence trafficking to violate all decisions of the Appeals Chamber and the CC . Judges Erica Aifan and Yassmin Barrios refused to comply with the resolutions of the superior courts due to the influence of the CICIG, continuing with the persecution against our family.
We were sentenced to 19 and 14 years in prison by the court of Yassmin Barrios, which violated the law and due process in a brutal way . Throughout the history of Guatemala, no migrant was ever sentenced to jail for the documents irregularities. A few days after condemning us this same Yassmin Barrios court granted freedom to the leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha accused of the same crimes. The sentencing of our family was the consequence of the traffic of influences that CICIG carried out in our trial.
The Russian press, again, reported: «VTB has attracted the CICIG to investigation …» We are satisfied with the resolution of the Guatemalan court that condemned the Bitkovs and found them guilty for crimes related to the falsification of documents «they declared in the press service of VTB, mentioning that very soon they will announce the date of another trial of new criminal proceedings against the Bitkovs. ”
Kommersant, January 2018,
At the same time, CICIG and FECI lent impunity to all 25 state officials, including Mayra Yojana Veliz Lopez, former foreign minister Raul Morales Moscoso and members of the Cutino International company, who processed the Documents for our family and for many others.
We can conclude that the criminal process against us was cruel and totally anomalous led by CICIG which participated in the process in full collaboration with the Russian banks – VTB and Gazprombank – sanctioned by the US and EU. The process was widely supported by the Russian state press and Russian embassy publicly confirmed the collaboration with CICIG . The representative of the Russian state bank Gazprombank – Alfonso Carrillo – is a close friend of Ivan Velazquez asked CICIG to get involved in the courts to prosecute our family. All of this while the real criminal structure that has realized thousands of those document irregularities remains in full impunity.
None of the sponsor countries have adequately investigated the actions of CICIG in the persecution of our family. The key people in this persecution were never investigated: Ivan Velazquez, Thelma Aldana, Francisco Sandoval, Mayra Veliz, Alfonso Carrillo and others . Their bank accounts, those of their relatives and related companies should be investigated. CICIG is an example of the grave error of the international community, which in its good faith was deceived and confused. The most important lesson to be learned here is that no entity of international power should ever remain and act without any control and supervision.