The Defense of Aleksey Pichugin considers the verdict of the jury that charges our client with all the charges to be illogical and contradictory. There are no evidences of the guilt of Aleksey Pichugin in the record of the proceedings. The only guilt of Pichugin is the fact that he is an employee of the YuKOS oil company, which is persecuted by the Russian authorities and that during the pretrial investigation he refused to testify against the company’s leading executives in the way the officials of the Procuracy General of the RF and the FSB required.
The verdict was the outcome of the trial in camera. More than once during the process Aleksey Pichugin’s fundamental rights provided for the Russian Legislation and international law were infringed. The assertions of the Defense concerning invalidity and unlawfulness of the trail in camera were confirmed by impartial assessment of the hearing: during the whole period no information classified as secret was examined. We are sure that the fact that Pichugin has been found guilty is likely to be the consequence of the decisions taken by top state officials of the
We are ready to the full extent to appeal today’s conviction in the Supreme Court of the
1. The pretrial examination that included the use of psychotropic means for the interrogation of the accused was a gross violation of Aleksey Pichugin’s rights. It occurred at connivance (if it was not an actual directive) of the Procuracy General of the RF and the FSB.
2. The briefs in litigation of Aleksey Pichugin were unreasonably treated as secret by the Procuracy General of the RF. The hearings were unlawfully declared as a trail in camera. It was aimed solely at the effort to conceal the lack of evidence of Pichugin’s guilt in the briefs in litigation from the public and mass media. In spite of the fact that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has found the trial in camera in the case of Pichugin to be a gross violation of the principle of publicity and transparency of the trail, The Moscow City Court refused to satisfy all the appeals of Pichugin defense lawyers requiring the public trial.
3. Within the hearing the officials of the Procuracy General of the RF did not present any evidence of the involvement of Aleksey Pichugin into the crimes incriminated to him. The Prosecution has presented no other evidence of Pichugin’s guilt than the testimony of the gang of murderers and rapists, who were the witnesses for the prosecution in this case. More than that, Olikhver, the judge infringed Pichugin’s right of defense as she prohibited the Defense to clarify the personalities of these so-called witnesses. It did not allow the jury to evaluate their evidences in their true aspects.
4. Systematic violations of the procedure during the judicial process typical of Natalia Olikhver, the judge are the evidence of her prejudice and interest in the verdict of „guilty“ for Aleksey Pichugin. In fact during the hearing Olikhver, the judge was supporting Procuracy General of the RF, which insisted on conviction of Aleksey Pichugin, and obstructed the presentation of the evidences by the Defense.
5. During the judicial process Pichugin defense lawyers suffered unprecedented pressure both in and out of trial. Our appeal concerning violation of the Russian Criminal Procedure Code by Olikhver, the judge resulted in her threat to remove us from the trial. Olga Egorova, the president of The Moscow City Court addressed the Ministry of Justice of the RF insisting on deprivation of us, the Defense of Pichugin of our status of defense lawyers. It was aimed solely at the effort to prevent us from the defense of Aleksey Pichugin’s interests and legitimate rights and his right of the effective defense.
We consider the procedure in the case of Pichugin to be typical of judicial proceeding in „the YuKOS case“ as a whole. It demonstrates the political interference and inability of the Russian courts to present fair and impartial justice in accordance with the principle of superiority of law and international regulations.
Our experience of the defense of Pichugin confirms the anxiety declared by Tim Workman, senior circuit judge of Bow-Street Municipal Court in London. He perceives politics as a real state of affairs in prosecution against YuKOS’s employees and top managers. The Defense will insist on the complete acquittal of Aleksey Pichugin.
Defense lawyer Georgy Raganer, phone: +7 (495) 723-1625
Defense lawyer Ksenia Kostromina, phone: +7 (495) 792-6753
Defense lawyer Mikhail Gidkov, phone: +7 (495) 517-2121
Defense lawyer Dmitry Kurepin, phone: +7 (495) 991-8727