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30.01.2008

The vagaries of Basmanny “justice”

   

Moscow’s Basmanny Court has turned down an appeal against the decision to hold the new criminal investigation regarding Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev in Chita. 

The court “considered the arguments … and does not find grounds to conclude that the decision will infringe the constitutional rights of the accused men Lebedev and Khodorkovsky, or hinder their access to justice in such circumstances….”

We reported the rulings of the Basmanny Court, as well as the Moscow City Court, several times in 2007.  It had seemed incredible, but cheering, that these courts continued to defy the Prosecutor General and ruled that it was unconstitutional and a violation of the men’s rights to hold the pre-trial investigation many hundreds of kilometres away from Moscow, where the crimes are alleged to have taken place. 

The lower courts kept deciding in favour of the Constitution, and the Prosecutor General kept lodging appeals (5 in all), with the Supreme Court allowing them and sending the case back to be “reconsidered”.

More details can be found by following the links below.  The previous court rulings all stated that transferring the criminal investigation to Chita was a violation of the constitutional right to defence given that Chita is very far away, and access for lawyers would be extremely difficult.

Chita has come no closer to Moscow, nor have the travel conditions so improved that access will not be a problem…  But the Basmanny court “reconsidered” …

New information from www.grani.ru  

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