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12.12.2001

Feldman and his advocates were deprived of the right for defense

   

The trial of the scandalous "bankers’ case", which is being held in the Artemovsk district court of Lugansk demonstrated another juridical nonsense on 7 February.

Nikolay Lavochkin, Lugansk


In the beginning of the consequent session judge Lubianoy, chairing the trial, turned to the representatives of the prosecution with the question if his had any request. The prosecutors had a request: they asked the court to deprive the defendant Boris Feldman and his advocates of the right to make any requests and remarks or to hand any complaints in the course of the trial.

Absurd, as it could seem, but the court satisfied the prosecutors’ request and deprived one of the accused of the constitutional right for defense in court by all legally admissible ways.

For the memory of future generations we shall list the composition of the court: chairman – judge S. M. Lubianoy, judges S. A. Kosminin and T. A. Storozhuk.

Moreover, when in the morning of 7 February Viktor Ageev and Andrey Fedur, the advocates of Boris Feldman, the vice-president of the bank "Slavianskiy", tried to come up to their client before the beginning of the court session, they were stopped by guards. The guard explained that they had the order of chairman Lubianoy not to pass Feldman’s advocates to their client. Advocate Ageev turned to the chairman. In this talk that took place about 11 a.m. in Lubianoy’s office in the presence of another judge (S. Kosminin), judge Lubianoy explained to advocate Ageev that he really ordered not to let advocates come to Feldman, since they have the opportunity to communicate with their client in the preliminary prison. Judge Lubianoy refused to communicate with the advocate beyond the courtroom, because, in his opinion, "respectful courts do not admit it".

On the same day, about 13:15, before the court dispersed for lunch, advocate Fedur turned to the court with the request to permit him to talk with Feldman during the break. Judge Lubianoy again said that he would not permit this and repeated that advocates may visit their client in the preliminary prison. Thus, the advocates are unable to consult their client on the days of trial.

On the days, when the defendants are transported to court advocates may not get a permission to meet their clients in the preliminary prison either. And the court sessions are planned to be held each weekday. In the Lugansk preliminary prison No. 17 visits are prohibited on Sundays. Therefore the advocates may communicate with Feldman only once a week – on Saturday.

Obvious, Feldman’s right for legal defense was brutally abused. The obstacles are created also for the professional activities of Feldman’s advocates and their rights stipulated by the Criminal-Procedural Code are violated. In particular, Article 266 of the Code ("Participation of an advocate in a trial") clearly reads: "An advocate assists the defendant in protecting his rights and legal interests. An advocate has the right for meetings with his client."

The described actions of court are brutal and obvious violations of the right for legal defense and is nothing but a direct obstacle to the professional legal activities of advocates.

For such kind of activities, according to the new Criminal Code of Ukraine, which became operable on 1 September 2001, judges must undergo criminal responsibility stipulated in the following articles.

Article 374. Violation of the right for legal defense.

1. The prohibition to an advocate to meet with his client or, if the client has no advocate, not appointing an advocate, as well as other brutal violations of the rights of the suspected, accused or defendant for legal defense caused by an inquiry or investigation officer, prosecutor of judge – are punished with the fine from 300 to 500 untaxed minimum incomes, or with correcting labor for the term up to two years, or the incarceration for the term up to six months with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to go in for certain activities for the term up to three years or without it.

Article 397. Interference into the activities of an advocate or representative of a person.

1. Impeding in any form professional activities of an advocate or representative of a person in rendering legal aid, or violating the legal guarantees of their activities and professional secrets – are punished with the fine from 100 to 200 untaxed minimum incomes, or with correcting labor for the term up to two years, or the incarceration for the term up to six months or restricting freedom for the term up to three years.

2. The same activities conducted by a state officer using his/her position -- are punished with the fine from 300 to 500 untaxed minimum incomes or restricting freedom for the term up to three years with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to go in for certain activities for the term up to three years.

Prosecutor’s officials were not fully satisfied with the above-described scandal, and they demanded more. After their opponents were deprived of the right for legal defense, the prosecutor decided not to fulfil other legal rules. So, he freed himself from his duty to read the accusation act fully and made public only the resolution containing only the list of the accusation articles. This trick served to avoid reading aloud all the "pearls" of this document, which could give the audience true ideas about the quality of the tax investigation and the competence of the General Prosecutor’s office, which approved the accusation act.

Even the "sympathetic" judge Lubianoy could not approve such offhand attitude to law. He had to meditate a long while during a break to accumulate courage and to ask the prosecutor to observe the law. After this the prosecutor started to announce the accusation act. By today the first 62 pages out of 700 have been read.

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