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    Pichugins case in the European Court of Human Rights: the answers are given, but the questions remained | 13 Nov 2007

    Kseniya Kostromina  Novaya GazetaThe government of the Russian Federation has submitted to the European Court of Human Rights a Memorandum with regard to the case of the former employee of the «Yukos» oil company Alexey Pichugin. This news was imparted to the portal HRO.org by the lawyer of the convict Kseniya Kostromina.

    In the Memorandum the representatives of the government of the Russian Federation give the answers to the European Courts questions formulated on basis of the complaint lodged by Alexey Pichugin and his lawyers to Strasbourg.

    We shall remind that this complaint concerns the trial of 2003-2005 about disappearance of the Tambov business couple Olga and Sergey Gorins whom the Russian court had declared killed in spite of that fact that their bodies were not found. The organizer of this crime was called Alexey Pichugin. As our portal has already informed before, the defence, in particular, paid the Strasbourg Courts attention to the violation of the Article 3 («Prohibition of tortures»), 5 («Right for freedom and personal immunity») and 6 («Right for a fair assize») of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

    Kseniya Kostromina has agreed to comment to the reporter of HRO.org Vera Vasilieva the Memorandum of the government of the Russian Federation, and also to tell about further actions of Alexey Pichugins lawyers.

    — How do you estimate the answers contained in the Memorandum?

    First of all, I shall notice that in the Memorandum there is a number of factual inaccuracies, I dont know how to consider them: as misprints, as a technical mistake or something else. In particular, it is said that the case which came up before the Basmanny Court for the examination on its merits was classified, although the case was examined by the Moscow City Court. There are also other inaccuracies of this sort.

    Concerning the questions put upon the violation of the Article 3 [here and after: of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.  Note by V.V.], the representatives of authorities of the Russian Federation in response just have enumerated how many times Alexey Vladimirovich sought medical advice and what medical care was delivered to him. His medical record kept in the detention facility „Lefortovo“ had been just copied, and that is all. There is no indication there of that he sought medical advice on the 14-th of July 2003.

    — It was when phycotropic substances had been used during the interrogation to Alexey Pichugin?


    Concerning the Article 5, the authorities of the Russian Federation have indicated in the Memorandum that when putting under restraint, seven protocols of the witnesses interrogation had been allegedly represented to court who allegedly had spoken about Pichugins involvement in committed crimes. At that, in the Memorandum the surnames of the witnesses are not indicated who allegedly had given such evidence at those times, and there are no copies of the protocols of interrogations.

    Lawyers taken part in examination of the question about putting Pichugin under restraint, affirm that there were no any protocols of interrogations of the witnesses.

    Concerning violation of the Article 6 there hasnt been also said anything concrete.

    There has been said that the indication in law about the jury-lists might be published seems to be not obligatory, and that if they are published it is only in order to people could address to appropriate authorities with a statement about inaccuracies committed in their data. Concerning that fact that the court fell outside the limits of the brought charge, i.e. there had discussed the questions connected with attempt at Rybin [the person involved in the second Alexey Pichugins trial, 2005-2007.  Note by V.V.], at that, on the one hand, our adversaries seem to recognize, and on the other hand  simultaneously deny. I.e., they say that yes, it seemed to occur, and at the same time  no, it was not. Such a strange double position.

    About the closed judicial session absolutely other arguments are sited. Not those which sited straight by the Moscow City Court when it passed the resolution on dismissal of our petition about holding public or partially public hearings, i.e. for closing hearings only for that period when the classified documents are investigated. The representatives of the government of the Russian Federation have written in the Memorandum such things about which there hadnt been said anything before.

    — What are the further effects of the defence?

    Till the 20-th of December 2007 we must send our legal objections on the Memorandum. If we havent enough time for that, we can inquire additional time, as it was done by the government of the Russian Federation, as the result of which the term in which it granted its answers at the European Courts questions, extended since 27-th of September till 20-th of October 2007.

    — And how soon after this we may wait for the basic decision of the Strasbourg court?

    It is difficult for me to say because it is unknown for everyone except the European Court of Human Rights itself.

    Vera Vasilieva, HRO.org, November, 13, 2007

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  • The European Court of Human Rights. CASE OF PICHUGIN v. RUSSIA. Judgment
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  • Trial of vengeance

  • Journalist Valeriy Shiryaev on the first case of Aleksey Pichugin in his book «Trial of vengeance. The first victim of the YUKOS case»