A court in Taganrog sentenced Vladislav Shulga, a design engineer of PJSC “Taganrog Aviation Scientific and Technical Complex named after Beriev” (TANTK), who was found guilty of poisoning his colleagues using thallium.
Shulga was sentenced to eight years in prison in a general regime correctional colony, informs “Interfax” with reference to the joint press service of the courts of the Rostov region.
The press service of the Rostov Region Prosecutor’s Office added that Shulga was convicted under paragraph “c” of Part 2 of Art. 111 (intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm), clause “a” part 2 of Art. 112 (intentional infliction of moderate harm to health) and Part 1 of Art. 115 (intentional infliction of minor harm to health) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
The regional department of the RF IC reported that Shulga at the beginning of the investigation made a confession, which was confirmed during an inspection at the scene. However, then he refused them, declaring his innocence.
Later, traces of thallium were found on scales taken from Shulga’s house. The same substance was found in a bottle taken from the premises of the plant.
As reported, in January 2018, TANTK employees began to turn to doctors one by one with complaints of deteriorating health, pain in muscles and joints, and hair loss. The examination showed that people were poisoned by thallium. Leading engineer of the aircraft plant Konstantin Kolesnikov suffered harder than others: the norm of thallium in his blood was exceeded 150 times. The plant’s management concealed information about the incident, but later law enforcement agencies opened a criminal case.
It was also reported that in December 2017, the plant’s locksmith Maxim Tereshchenko died. However, according to the official version, the cause of death was cerebral edema, and during the examination, traces of thallium in Tereshchenko’s body were not found.
Investigators concluded that TANTK employee Shulga added the thallium chemical to three 19-liter drinking water bottles. As a result, 34 people were poisoned at the enterprise. The health of 27 of them was seriously injured. According to the investigation, Shulga wanted to poison the head of the design bureau Viktor Zubkovsky “on the basis of personal hostile relations in connection with a conflict situation in the performance of labor duties”, as well as the company’s lawyer Sagil Makhmudov because of a road conflict.
Shulga said in court that the enterprise not only stored, but also used toxic substances, the composition of which remained unknown, writes “Caucasian Knot”. According to him, the investigators, instead of checking the guilt of the enterprise, “appointed the guilty one.”
The three victims who were present at the trial also stated that the accused was not involved in the poisoning. The lawyer of another victim suggested Shulga to acquit, since “all the dishes seized from the victims’ offices have no traces of thallium, and this contradicts both the confession and self-incriminating testimony”, writes Donnews.
Shulga, in his speech to the court, indicated that complaints about the deteriorating health of the victims were received from the end of November 2017 to November 11, 2018. Such a spread cannot be the result of the drinking of water from three bottles by the victims. The expert pointed out that the symptoms of thallium poisoning appear in the time interval from 3-4 hours to 1-2 days from the moment the poison enters the body. And according to the testimony of the victims, the 19-liter bottle was drunk in 3-4 days.