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    Political prisoner Pichugin was unlawfully held handcuffed during the meeting with the Civil Observatory Commission | 27 Oct 2016

    LefortovoAlexey Pichugin, the ex-head of the Internal Security Section of YUKOS, sentenced to the life imprisonment on the trumped-up charges had been unlawfully held handcuffed during the meeting with the members of Civil Observatory Commission in Lefortovo Prison wrote Zoya Svetova on her Facebook page.

    "The law forbids the meetings with a handcuffed prisoner", she added.

    «Nonetheless, Pichugins hands were bound behind his back, thats why he winced in pain during the conversation, she further explained. There were four guards in the cell, one held a truncheon», she said.

    Mrs. Svetova went on describing scores of violations made by Lefortovo guards during the last visit of the Commission members which took place past Tuesday. «The hell that Lefortovo personnel and notably Victor Shkarin, Deputy Warden for regime affairs, along with his assistant, gave us, I mean, the Commission members, is beyond all imaginable limits», she said.

    In particular, the guards unlawfully ended the meeting with Evgeny Panov, one of so-called Ukrainian Saboteurs, when someone told about some police operatives that came to see him without summoning his lawyer first.

    The powers of the current Commission members expire on November 1. Only select few independent observers made it to the new Commission. For instance, Mrs. Svetova was a candidate to the regional board of Mordovia, but failed, as well as Mr. Serguey Maryin, the most active regional observer.

    Pichugin had been arrested in June of 2003. In March of 2005 he had been sentenced to 22 years in maximum security jail for the alleged murder of the Gorins, Serguey and Olga. In August of 2007 he received a lifetime conviction on the second case, namely of organizing several murders and attempted murders, including the murder of Vladimir Petukhov, Mayor of Nefteyugansk, which took place in 1998. The political prisoner had been transferred to Prison Camp 6, a.k.a The Black Dolphin in Sol-Iletsk, Orenburg Region.

    In June of 2015 the investigation of that particular murder had been started again. In December of the same year Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ex-CEO of YUKOS, had been charged in absentia of master-minding this crime and two attempted murders.

    The ex-Oligarch had offered Pichugin to testify against him in exchange for freedom. However, Xenia Kostromina, his lawyer, assured the public that her client would not do that. «Alexey Pichugun will not testify against anybody, just like he did before», she remarked.

    On November 272015Pichugin had placed a motion of pardon to Vladimir Putin, while not admitting the charges.

    In the beginning of June Yuri Berg, Orenburg Governor who ex officio reviews all such documents before sending them level above refused to send it to Putin.

    After a month Pichugin had been transported to Lefortovo Prison in Moscow from the Black Dolphin. Shortly thereafter the political prisoner had undergone questioning, details of which Mrs. Kostromina had refused to disclose alleging the motion of confidentiality that she signed. She only said that her client insisted on his innocence.

    Whether there had been other interrogations remains unknown. In any case, the prisoner is still held in Lefortovo.

    On October 19 an open letter to Putin written by Alla Pichugina, prisoners mother, had been published. She called the Head of State «to show mercy, as well as the ability to deal with matters impartially, without political bias».

    In turn, Dmitry Peskov, presidential spokesman, had said that he knew nothing about Putins attitude towards the letter written by Mrs. Pichugina.



    Translated by Alexey Uelsky

  • 14 years behind bars without fair trial. What did Strasbourg rule in the case of Pichugin?
  • Zoya Svetova: Who is it, Mikhail Savitsky, conducting an interrogation of Aleksey Pichugin
  • Alexey Pichugin: «I wrote a motion to have a visit from my mother»
  • Statement of Igor Viacheslavovuch Sutyagin
  • Mikhail Khodorkovsky: «An innnocent man, Alexey Pichugin, is still behind bars»
  • The European Court of Human Rights. CASE OF PICHUGIN v. RUSSIA. Judgment
  • Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger about Alexey Pichugin case
  • Leonid Nevzlins interview about the «case»
  • The «Amnesty International» is anxious about Alexey Pichugins condition

  • 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»