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    The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation will return to the case of political prisoner Aleksei Pichugin | 24 Oct 2017

    As it is reported by the media, on November 8, 2017, the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation will consider the Decision of the European Court of Human Rights at the case of a former employee of YUKOS, political prisoner Aleksei Pichugin.

    The same is reported on the website of the Supreme Court. As the portal HRO.org has already told, the Strasbourg Court delivered its decision on June 6, 2017.

    It concerns the second criminal case of Aleksei Pichugin, within which he, in particular, was accused of organizing the murder of the mayor of the city of Nefteyugansk Vladimir Petukhov and eventually was sentenced to life imprisonment.

    The European Court of Human Rights found that during the proceedings the Moscow City Court of the Russian Federation violated in two aspects the right to fair justice (Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) of a former employee of YUKOS.

    Firstly, the principle of the presumption of innocence was not observed. Secondly, the Moscow City Court refused to take into account the opinion of the expert-handwriter Volodina, which could testify to the innocence of the defendant.

    According to paragraph 2 of part 4 of Art. 413 and Art. 415 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, the European Court established the violation of the provisions of the European Convention in the consideration of a criminal case by a court of the Russian Federation is the basis for the resumption of proceedings in this case in view of the new circumstances.

    Therefore, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Viacheslav Lebedev, made a corresponding submission to the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. Now the whole question is how the Presidium will be dealt with the Decision of the European Court of Human Rights at the case of Aleksei.

    In my deep conviction, if this is a fair trial, then it will be obliged to abolish the unjust verdict. In addition to the fact that this implies an established violation of Art. 6 of the European Convention, it can be noted that in this case it was, I think, blatant.

    After all, the presumption of innocence is one of the fundamental principles of judicial procedure. Without its observance, in my opinion, the court is not much different from Stalin’s «triples» and «Special Meetings».

    No one can be considered guilty until his guilt is proven in law and established by a court verdict that came into force. And Vladimir Kolesnikov at that time (2005), the Deputy General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation and Yurii Burtovoi — the Head of the investigation team at the suit of Pichugin, stated on the television channels ORT and NTV about Aleksei Pichugin’s guilt even before the trial began.

    Because of this, Aleksei Pichugin was forced to abandon the jury trial. After all, they are also TV viewers, and can form their opinions on the basis of TV programs.

    The Decision of the Presidium, which should follow, in this situation, in my opinion, is predetermined by law. However, the whole trouble is that the law now triumphs in our courts and here I probably will not open America for anyone, unfortunately — very, very rarely.

    We already have an example of the Decision of the European Court of Human Rights at the first case of Aleksei, which was delivered on October 23, 2012 and has not been executed until now. Meanwhile, Russia, which signed the European Convention, was obliged to do so.

    In addition, the Pichugin case is very unpleasant for our authorities. It’s about how a small man got into the millstone of a cruel system just for working for an oil company, YUKOS, whose former Head, Mikhail Khodorkovskii, decided to contradict the President.

    For being too decent to make a deal with a conscience, to perjure for the sake of his release, although it was repeatedly promised to him by investigators. Return to this case, stir up the old, that is, cancel the illegal sentence and start the process anew the authorities are unlikely to want. However, Vladimir Putin has a way to avoid all this and, at the same time, restore justice as much as possible after the fourteen and a half years that Pichugin spent behind bars.

    In May of this year, Pichugin asked him for pardon (without admission of guilt). The commission of the Orenburg region, through which this petition must necessarily pass on the way to the addressee, refused him.

    However, the last and decisive word is for the President. The Pardon Commission has the right to only recommend, but he will be decided. He did not give his answer to the present.

    The President still has time until November 8 to pardon Aleksei Pichugin and once and for all put an end to this very badly smelling affair. And at the same time to demonstrate to the whole world, which already knows a lot about the case of Aleksei Pichugin, and their best qualities.

    Vera Vasileva, HRO.org


  • 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»
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