Violations Of The Convention
The ECHR held that while considering the case of “Kirovec” in 2013 rights were violated Navalny and Ofitserov to a fair trial (6th article of the European Convention on human rights). Judgement on the morning of February 23 was published on the official website instance.
The Strasbourg court found that the Lenin district court of Kirov was to separately consider the case against Navalny and Ofitserov and against the former head of KOGUP “Kirovles” Vyacheslav Opaleva and was critical of the testimony of Opalev.
The verdict against Opaleva came into force in December 2012. Opalev had signed a pre-trial agreement, so the case was passed without examination of evidence, and received four years conditionally under article “Appropriation or embezzlement, committed by an organized group or in especially large size” (part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal code). In the court’s decision stated that Bulk forced “Kirovles” to sign a deliberately unprofitable contract with the “Vyatka forest company” Ofitserov: VLK acquired products “Kirovles” and was looking for her buyers; the court came to the conclusion that “Kirovles” could increase revenue, if worked with contractors directly without an intermediary. In further testimony of Opalev was the basis of the case against Navalny and Ofitserov. Despite the objections of counsel, the court found the words of Opalev to be trustworthy.
The decision of the ECHR States that was violated and the 7th article of the Convention, which guarantees no punishment without law: to convict Navalny and Ofitserov, the Russian authorities significantly went beyond the usual interpretation of the legislation, pointed judge of the ECtHR.
Finally, the Strasbourg court found that the Russian authorities with the assistance of the court in the case of “Kirovles” sought not justice, but sought to discourage political activity of Navalny.
As a result, the ECtHR awarded Ofitserova Bulk and 8 thousand Euro as compensation of moral harm. The court also ruled that Russia should pay the Bulk a little more than 48 thousand euros, and Ofitserova almost 23 thousand euros for compensation of litigation costs.
The basis for the revision
Attorney Bulk Olga Mikhailova believes that the decision of the ECHR should be the basis for revision of the verdict in the case – the decision of the Strasbourg court can be regarded as a newly discovered circumstance (article 413 of the Criminal procedure code). As explained Mikhailov, now the Supreme court must initiate a hearing and resolve the issue: change the sentence to cancel and direct business on revision, or leave it in force.
“Theoretically, the Supreme court may refer the case for review, but that happens very rarely,” – said the Deputy Director of “Center for support of international protection” Valentin Moiseev. He noted that he did not know a single case to a Russian court reviewed a criminal case after the decision of the Strasbourg.
In 2013, the Presidium of the Supreme court refused to cancel or refer for reconsideration the case of the former head of security service “YUKOS” oil company Alexey Pichugin, although the ECtHR found that in the process also violated the right to a fair trial.
In the Ministry of justice are unable to respond promptly to the inquiry about whether the Russian authorities to execute the decision of the ECtHR on the complaint Navalny and Ofitserov.
In December of 2015, President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing the COP to ignore the decisions of international courts in case of their contradiction with the Constitution of Russia. As explained in this regard, the judge KS Sergey Mavrin, international law still has priority over national laws. “But the Constitution does not apply to ordinary laws: this is a special legal act on the top of our legal system,” he said.
In February, the constitutional court received the first referral of the Ministry of justice about the possibility of non-execution of judgments of the European court of human rights. The request relates to the ruling in the case “Anchugov and Gladkov V. Russia” dated July 4, 2013. In fact, it is about unconditional prohibition to prisoners to vote in elections regardless of the seriousness of the crime. The Strasbourg court decided that this provision is contrary to the European Convention.
The circumstances of the case
In July 2013, the Leninsky district court of Kirov found Navalny and Ofitserov guilty of fraud in especially large size. According to investigators, they illegally received from the state of KOGUP “Kirovles” 10 thousand cubic meters of wood, worth 16 million rubles, ofitserova to the company – LLC “Vyatka forest company”, and then sold it.
Bulk and Officers guilt denied and insisted that the forest company VLK transferred “Kirovec” 15,5 million roubles found buyers for these products, which could not independently implement the “Kirovles”. Initially, the court appointed them a sentence of 5 and 4 years imprisonment respectively. In the fall during the consideration of the appeal of the Kirov regional court changed the real sentence on parole. Detained Navalny and Officers were one day immediately after the verdict of the district court Prosecutor’s office appealed against the application to them of the arrest before the entry into force of the decision.
23 October 2015 nikulinskaya the court satisfied the claim of “Kirovles” on compensation. The court ordered Navalny, Ofitserov and Opalev to pay almost 16.2 million rubles In 2013, the company’s representatives refused a civil lawsuit. According to Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzeva, in fact, the plaintiffs demanded a double payment for the products, because of the “Vyatka forest company” has already paid for all the timber in the amount of 14.8 million rubles, which is confirmed not only by documents but also by the sentence of Lenin district court of Kirov. The decision of the court nikulinskaya Navalny and Officers appealed against in Moscow city court.