The outgoing year will be remembered for the scandal with the family of Alexei Batalov. The widow of the artist Gitana and daughter Masha said that they had been fraudulently deprived of their property – passed to Natalia Drozhzhina and Mikhail Tsivin.
Recently we published an open letter from Gitana to Nikita Mikhalkov, who provided her with a lawyer. And now the defender of Tsivina and Drozhzhin Anatoly Kucherena spoke about the situation.
– Anatoly, why are you not on the side of the widow of Alexei Batalov and his daughter Maria, but of their offenders?
– I am on the side of justice, including on the side of the Batalovs, because I want to help them return the property back. This is a property conflict, and it has highlighted several pernicious tendencies in our judicial system and in public opinion. First of all, here we can talk about the artificial “criminalization” of a civil legal dispute.
– That is, you insist that this case should not be in the criminal plane, but in civil law?
-Yes, I insist. Let me remind you how it was. At one time, Maria Batalova, suffering from a severe form of cerebral palsy, and unable to serve herself on her own, transferred real estate to Natalia Drozhzhina’s disposal on the condition of her life support. We are talking about one third of the share in an apartment on Serafimovich Street, non-residential premises at the same address and an apartment on 1st Samotechny Lane. The contract itself was signed by Maria’s mother, Gitana Leontenko, who represents her interests by proxy.
After the death of Alexei Batalov, Mikhail Tsivin was involved in all matters related to the perpetuation of the memory of the great actor. According to many people familiar with this situation, Mikhail Tsivin and Natalya Drozhzhina surrounded the daughter of Alexei Batalov, Maria, with tireless attention, doing everything possible to alleviate her difficult situation. And she treated them literally like her own people. But then, apparently, someone convinced her that they were secret enemies, dreaming of taking possession of her property.
From an interview with Gitana Loentenko “MK”: “We have begun repairs, there is dust and dirt everywhere. And Tsivin for this case took all the documents, Alyosha and mine. Time passes, but he does not bring the paper back! When I started asking about them, he yelled at me. I suddenly realized that something incomprehensible was happening. ”
– I disagree with you on many points – we in MK, according to the words of the widow of Alexei Batalov, wrote about other facts.
– Be that as it may, the situation looks like this: at some stage, the terms of this agreement ceased to suit Maria Batalova and Gitana Arkadyevna. This happens quite often, and there is no tragedy in it. Nothing prevented the termination of this agreement and the return of the property to the disposal of Maria Batalova and Gitana Arkadyevna.
– How to return it if, for example, Batalov’s workshop has already been resold to third parties?
– If any conflict situations arose between the parties related to the execution of the contract, they could be resolved in the course of a civil dispute. Instead, Gitana Arkadyevna turned to the Investigative Committee with a demand to initiate a criminal case against Mikhail Tsivin and Natalya Drozhzhina.
Something similar sometimes happens in property disputes between businessmen, when, instead of resolving the issue on a civilian plane, one of the parties to the conflict appeals to law enforcement agencies with a requirement to initiate a criminal case against his competitor. If it is indeed instituted, and a detention order is issued, a businessman who first tasted prison gruel in his life usually becomes more accommodating. Needless to say, how detrimental this practice is to business development and respect for law enforcement agencies?
Thousands of people are suing because they do not agree with the execution of contracts that they have entered into. If every time our law enforcement agencies initiate criminal cases on civil disputes, family property disputes, then the work of the investigating authorities will be completely paralyzed: they will simply have no time to do something else.
– Don’t people who think that they were deceived have the right to apply to law enforcement agencies?
– They have. Of course, the mere statement of one of the parties to initiate a criminal case does not mean that such a case will in fact be initiated. Law enforcement agencies should carefully check whether there is a real reason for this. In this case, apparently, this was not done.
Mikhail Tsivin and Natalya Drozhzhina were promptly charged with fraud, and at the request of the investigation they ended up in a temporary detention center. To be honest, it is still difficult for me to comprehend what the need was.
The spouses are elderly people suffering from a number of chronic diseases. There was no reason to believe that they could hide somewhere, take their assets abroad or in any way obstruct the investigation. One gets the impression that it was about some kind of “measure of intimidation”: needless to say, what impression is imposed by the imprisonment on people for whom prison is by no means a “home”.
– Anatoly, forgive me for being frank, but you seem to have been charmed by Drozhzhin and Tsivina. I was told that they are good at it …
– A lawyer is obliged to understand people, otherwise he will again and again become a victim of deception or self-deception. Personally, Mikhail Tsivin and Natalya Drozhzhina made a pleasant impression on me. They do not at all look like the active ministers of the “golden calf”, exposing the unjustly acquired wealth on public display. They are cultured, intelligent, dignified people. It seems to me absolutely impossible that Mikhail Tsivin could threaten someone, as Gitana Arkadyevna and Maria Batalova claim.
From the statement of Gitana Leontenko: “In early July 2020, I turned to MS Tsivin. with a request to give me the key to a safe deposit box, which was issued in my name and where all documents, cash and personal belongings of my late spouse were placed. In response from Tsivin in a rude form, I heard that “I’ve already lost my mind”, that “at my age they are not thinking about money, not about other property, but are going to the next world”, that “I have a little to live”. About Masha, he said that “it is necessary to raise the question of her legal capacity, that is, her appointment as a guardian … At my request“ to leave us alone, to return all property, money and personal belongings back ”Tsivin MS began to release threats against us that “we will regret it again.”
– At what stage is the investigation today?
– Investigative actions have stalled and it is not known where to move on. As reported in the media, Maria Batalova and Gitana Arkadyevna fell ill, and the investigation was suspended. First of all, I would like to wish them a speedy recovery.
In any legal property conflict, it is necessary to be guided by the principle: “Let the other side be heard as well.” Mikhail Tsivin and Natalya Drozhzhina categorically refute the allegations that they “zeroed” the bank accounts of Gitana Arkadyevna and appropriated her property or the property of her daughter, as the “victims” claim. A life-long maintenance agreement does not at all imply the repossession of property or its resale. This can only be done with the permission of Maria Batalova.
Gitana Arkadyevna sometimes claims that she never signed an agreement with Tsivin and Drozhzhina. However, the document bears her handwritten signature, and the examination concluded that it was genuine. In other interviews, however, she clarifies that she signed so many papers that she no longer remembers what exactly they contained. But if such argumentation had any weight in legal disputes, complete chaos would ensue. For example, a person took a loan by signing an appropriate agreement, and then declares that he is not going to return the loan, because he does not remember what exactly he signed.
From an interview with Gitana Leontenko “MK”: “I won’t even say how I signed all the powers of attorney. Nobody read the papers to me, and then I was with cataracts. They took me to their doctor, did not let me treat her myself. When they let slip about the custody of Masha, I seemed to see the light. Lesha and I have put our lives to make Masha a capable member of society. She graduated, writes books. What kind of guardianship? What for? I am a mom, alive! There is a sister Nadia! What kind of guardians can there be among strangers? “
– You yourself say that there are two opposite opinions – victims and suspects. And for every argument you make, there is a counterargument.
– In order to establish what actually happened, we asked for a confrontation between Tsivin and Drozhzhina and the Batalovs, we petitioned for additional examinations. However, Gitana Arkadyevna and Maria Batalova categorically refuse the confrontation. Gitana Arkadyevna says that she is afraid of this meeting. How so? The conditions for the confrontation completely exclude the use of physical or verbal violence from anyone else.
Maria Batalova and Gitana Arkadyevna repeat over and over again that as a result of the actions of Tsivin and Drozhzhina, they found themselves in complete poverty, literally on the verge of starvation. But then it is not entirely clear why they refuse to let Tsivin and Drozhzhina return their property to them.
– Why do you think so? They just want to get everything back!
– In order to return this property, it is necessary to remove the arrest imposed on it. This can be done by the investigator, both on his own initiative and at the request of Gitana Arkadyevna. However, she did not make such a request.
Another tendency that manifested itself in this conflict is the tendency to issue a certain “public verdict”, without any court establishing the guilt of one of the parties. It happened this time too. In fact, a number of media outlets from the very beginning of this story hastened to stick a “ace of diamonds” on Tsivin and Drozhzhina. From day to day they are compared with Fox Alice and Cat Basilio from the famous fairy tale by Alexei Tolstoy “Golden Key”, they are called “swindlers” and “swindlers”.
– If they consider themselves slandered, they can go to court with a claim for the protection of honor and dignity.
– So that at each meeting they were approached with questions like: “Is it true that you killed not 17 people, but 170? Is it true that you have appropriated not only the portrait of Akhmatova by Modigliani, but also the “Sistine Madonna” “?
The media constantly emphasize that Tsivin and Drozhzhina have 17 apartments, which is presented almost as proof of their “criminal activities.” This reminds me of the assertions of Soviet propaganda that the writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn allegedly had three cars.
Of course, the possession of any property in itself does not cast a shadow on a person: the whole question is how legally it was acquired. In fact, Tsivin and Drozhzhina have four apartments, and all of them are either legally acquired by them or inherited. You involuntarily ask yourself the question: what is the reason for such an unfading interest in this plot? Personally, I am aware of property and commercial disputes, where “at stake” are two or three orders of magnitude larger amounts than in this conflict, and no one writes or talks about them on central television.
– And I just understand. Because Batalov is an actor beloved by many. Legend of Soviet cinema.
– And this gives the right to speculate on the glorious name of Alexei Batalov?
– Well-known lawyers claim that since Tsivin and Drozhzhina have already been charged with a serious crime, it is no longer possible to resolve the property dispute in a civil procedure.
– This argumentation is reminiscent of the legal practice of the “witch hunt” time, when charges of witchcraft were often preceded by some kind of property litigation, but after this charge there was no turning back: the victim was in a dungeon or a fire. In fact, the Investigative Committee can at any time a criminal case in the absence of corpus delicti, remove the arrest of the property, after which it can be returned to the Batalov family. I hope this happens.