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|21 feb 2017|
Practice of Correspondence Political Processes Is Restored in Russia
Today Moscow City Court recognized former co-owner of YUKOS Leonid Nevzlin guilty of organization of some murders and attempts at businessmen and officials. Now announcement of a verdict proceeds. In its final - resolutory part the judge will impose Nevzlin punishment. As ITAR-TASS transfers, during debate of the parties the public prosecutor asked to impose him life imprisonment. Process passes in the correspondence form as accused lives in Israel where he has received citizenship.
Under the version of investigation, during the period from 1998 up to 2002 under Nevzlin's instruction murders of director of company "TP "Phoenix" Valentina Korneeva, the head of administration of Nefteyugansk of the Khanty - Мansijsk Autonomous District Vladimir Petuhov (thus his security guard Vyacheslav Kokoshkin was also wounded) and also the driver of the manager of the company "East Petroleum Haldelsgas MbH" Eugeny Rybin - Nikolay Fedotov were committed. Also under his initiative, investigation considers, there were attempts to murder the head of the Department on Public Relations of the mayoralty of Moscow Olga Kostina, office manager of the company "Rosprom" Victor Kolesov, manager general of the company "East Petroleum Handelsgas MbH" Eugeny Rybin and his security guards Alexey Ivanov and Eugeny Filippov. During the suit one of the episodes of organization of attempt to murder was reeducated into the charge on "organization of armed assault".
From editorial board: it is quite possible that Nevzlin is really a terrible villain. However, practice of correspondence courts is something rather unexpected for the country where already the second president is diplomaed lawyer and "Union of Lawyers" is the most influential public organizations, certainly, with the president in the head.
"Charges are forged. The demonstrative base is absent. The verdict is authorized even before the beginning of the suit", - Nevzlin's press-secretary Irina Dolgina asserts. And this position is absolutely impenetrable - first of all because investigation of the court is - correspondence one. That is there is a hearing of only one party, thus breaking a major principle of legal proceedings - free competition of protection and charge.
Legal science considers obligatory participation of the defendant in judicial session important guarantee of his rights and correct realization of justice, therefore proceeding in a case in the absence of the defendant is supposed only in unusual cases. Which ones?
According to the Criminal - Remedial Code of RSFSR (section 246, item 2), such is possible only, when: а) the defendant is outside of Russia and evades from court appearance; b) the defendant petitions for a trial of an affair in his absence in relation to the case where imprisonment cannot be appointed as punishment.
Practically this article of the CRC of RSFSR was not applied in the Russian Federation and as it's written in textbooks on jurisprudence, "authors didn't come across default judgments".
Nevertheless life makes changes also to textbooks on jurisprudence. It is possible to say also that the lawyer Putin has brought essential contribution to a legal science and practice.
Even during Soviet time it was stated in the comments to the CRC that "the fact of the presence of the defendant outside the state is not the basis for correspondence trial of the case; it is necessary to establish that the defendant knew about proceeding and evaded presence. Only the set of these two circumstances provided that correspondence trial will not interfere with establishment of truth in case gives the court basis to examine it in the absence of the defendant".
In practice of the Soviet justice precedents of default conviction were very rare, more often they concerned officers of the special services accused of betrayal of the Native land. In particular, default death sentence was made to the former resident of KGB colonel Oleg Gordievsky and also Victor Suvorov (Rezun). However, Nevzlin's case obviously does not relate to this category that allows to speak about purely political process.
New CRC of the Russian Federation came into force on July, 1, 2002 establishes that "Proceeding in absence of the defendant can be allowed if the defendant petitions for consideration of the given criminal case of small or average weight in his absence" (section 247).
Section 247. Participation of the defendant
1. Proceeding of the criminal case is carried out at obligatory participation of the defendant, except for a case stipulated by a part four of the present section.
2. At absence of the defendant consideration of criminal case should be postponed.
3. The court has the right to subject the defendant who has not been present without valid excuse to detention as well as to apply to him or to change preventive punishment.
4. Proceeding in absence of the defendant can be allowed if the defendant petitions for consideration of the given criminal case of small or average weight in his absence.
Apparently, Nevzlin didn't submit any petition. As well as series of murders which are incriminated to him hardly possible allows to speak about "a crime of small or average weight".
Thus, we deal with historical event - appearance of correspondence legal proceedings on political affairs which leans not on the CRC of the Russian Federation but on direct discretion of the Supreme authority. FORUM.msk has already written that prime minister Putin concentrated around himself not only supreme executive authority and control over legislative branch of authority (through management of party in power) but also, as now it's found out, on his wish could judge any he wanted according to the laws he invented in the process. Only monarches have such set of powers, absolute monarches - the Constitution of the Russian Federation at Putin became decorative document which positions were being executed selectively and not always. As it's found out, the same destiny befell also other laws of the Russian Federation, in particular the Criminal - Remedial Code.
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