On Wednesday, the Tver court of Moscow has started consideration on the substance of criminal case of journalist Alexander Sokolov. Besides him in the dock are former editor of the newspaper “Duel” Yury Mukhin, and their colleagues Valery Parfenov and Cyril Barabash. All four defendants in the case charged that organized the activities of a banned organization (article 282.2 of the Criminal code).
The clash in court
The court on Wednesday came several dozen supporters of the defendants. Before beginning the process a few of them almost got into a fight with the bailiffs, paving his way into the small courtroom. But the place had only the relatives of the accused and journalists in the hall of the marshals allowed on passports and press cards. Therefore, most of the crowd remained standing in the hallway.
When the trial began, the corridor began to hear the screams. As later explained press Secretary of the court Anastasia Zurko, four of the students were detained by police officers and they were prepared administrative reports for disobedience to the authorities (article 17.3 of the Code of administrative offences).
A judge from the list Magnitsky
Four of the accused were taken by a reinforced unit of the convoy, escorted by Riot police and a large shepherd. At the beginning of the hearing, the court drills the personal data of the defendants. “Citizenship, place of residence, place of work? — asked standard questions by the judge. “USSR”, — said Barabash.
Judge Alexey Krivoruchko have mirandized the defendant. Thereafter, the defendants and their lawyers challenged the judge. “The judge is not impartial,” said Barabash. The defendants insisted that Krivoruchko has not provided their right to a fair trial and the right support group who did not have a place in the hall.
“We hear screams from the corridor, the audience, the pressure is on, and the court did not even curious about what is happening there,” he supported the petition Parfenov and falcons. Moreover, the defendants pointed out that the judge Krivoruchko included in the list of Magnitsky sanctions list of Russian officials and law enforcement officers, which according to Western fear was found in violation of human rights.
In total, the process the statement of the petition to challenge the judge took almost an hour. A little less than it took the judge Krivoruchko to make a decision. Upon returning, he stated that, to meet this request, there is no reason.
The process continued and a new motion was raised Parfenov. “I ask you to provide access to the spectators in the hall, not today of course, but at the next meeting, to provide more room, and if this court is not to another. You can hold a meeting in the Supreme court,” said the accused. The judge promised that all following meetings will be held in accordance with the principle of transparency and openness.
The court then allowed several motions, the judge refused to engage in as public defenders, the mother of the accused Parfenov and friend of the defendant Barabash, and were not allowed to defenders video recording of the trial.
New old organization
The announcement of the indictment, the trial began only in the evening. According to the prosecution, the accused was part of the organization “army of the will of the people” (AVN), which in the autumn of 2010 the Moscow city court found extremist AVN community and banned its activities. But the defendants did not agree to this decision and just renamed the organization the Initiative group for the referendum “For the responsible authority”. The new organization, as old, lobbied for the referendum and the adoption of the law “For a responsible power”: the authors of the project proposed to evaluate the performance of MPs, senators and the leadership of the country after the expiry of their powers.
Thereafter, the court granted the accused’s word. All of them stated in court that does not admit guilt.
Since his arrest in July 2015 Sokolov pointed that he had not committed any crime. A criminal case is an attempt to impede investigative journalism, insisted then Sokolov. Shortly before his arrest was published it an investigation of embezzlement of funds during the construction of the “Vostochny Cosmodrome”, said the journalist.