“I don’t remember”, “maybe”, “probably”, often answers Dmitri Malinovsky to questions from the president, Brigitte Roux, who tried to clarify things throughout this second day of hearing at the Criminal Court.

This trial of seven people, scheduled to last two weeks, should shed light on the origin of the funds used for the purchase in 2015 of the 12th century neo-Gothic fortress, which remained on sale for three years.

Long questioned about his career, his departure from Ukraine then his arrival in France, Dmitri Malinovsky delivered an “incredible” story, according to Ms. Roux: after having his leg broken during a settlement of accounts by his former partner Ukrainian in January 2014, he was then allegedly kidnapped in August. Detained in Hungary, he reportedly managed to escape in December of the same year, stealing a bag from his captors containing a weapon, money and a fake Romanian passport.

A fake that he will then use in France, where he arrives in May 2015, “a matter of life or death” according to him, because he was “threatened”, although he does not like “breaking the law”.

His presumed death, accredited at this time by a false death certificate issued by “corrupt officials”, is a set-up, he also swears, without giving very clear explanations.

– Luxury hotels and jewelry –

For the money that was used to buy the castle of La Rochepot in 2015, Dmitri Malinovsky charges his parents, his friends, his relatives. All these projects are not his, he just accompanies a friend of his wife, Katerina Rusanova, also on the dock, and his parents bring him money because he does not have a bank account.

According to the prosecution, this money came from a scam: Mr. Malinovsky would have extracted more than 12 million euros from a fertilizer company based in Singapore, whose majority shareholder is a Russian national.

About the weapons found in Hermès bags at the castle? Not his, never seen, anyway he does not know how to use it and has not done his military service, and he is “a peaceful man”.

Asked about the abuse of corporate assets, of which he is accused, he replied that it was “services rendered” by the SARL which operated the castle. He said that his parents made transfers from their personal accounts to this company, in order to pay the expenses of their son and his family.

Among these expenses, stays in five-star hotels, meals in high-end restaurants, but also jewelry, luxury watches and Hermès bags for his then mistress, Olga Kalina.

However, when the president points out to him that he has “an extremely pleasant life, of a certain standing”, he immediately replies that he “does not appreciate material things”.

For the prosecutor, Vincent Legaut, this lifestyle shows that Dmitri did not seem to “hide himself”, but the use of the SARL’s bank card “is the very example of his desire to leave no trace of his expenses. “.

A method justified by the person concerned once again for security reasons, because his life “was threatened, so I left no trace under my identity”. “I never booked the hotels in my name, but I didn’t hide in basements either,” Dmitri Malinovsky told the public prosecutor.

The Ukrainian was arrested in 2018 and the castle seized and emptied, to the chagrin of the inhabitants of this town, who saw some 30,000 tourists pass by per year thanks to this building in the heart of wine-growing Burgundy.