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Fair trial

07 June 2017

Thanks to the assistance of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, it was possible to restore a woman’s right to a fair trial.

Citizen S. appealed to the High Commissioner with a prayer for help. She asked to restore the constitutional rights of her daughter E., previously convicted. According to the applicant, numerous violations and falsification of evidence were committed during the investigation and trial. E. did not confess her guilt in the crimes.

In April 2016, the court of first instance sentenced E. to 13 years of imprisonment, later the appellate court reduced the sentence to eight years’ imprisonment to be served in an ordinary-regime correctional colony.

Among the violations of the Criminal Procedure Law committed against E. was the deliberate refusal of the lawyer assigned to her to perform his professional duties. In view of this circumstance, the admissibility of the evidence which form the legal basis of conviction, namely, the record of E’s interrogation as an accused and the record of confrontation between her and the witness in the case, is questionable. In addition, the appellate court did not examine all the evidence available in the case file.

The author of the cassation appeal raised the issue of annulling court verdicts and referring the case for a new examination. E.’s lawyer pointed to significant violations of the norms of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, challenged the testimony of witnesses during the first court session, and also referred to the falsification of the results of the chemical-forensic examination.

Having carefully studied the materials of the case, the High Commissioner sent a petition to the Moscow City Court to review the arguments about the illegality of the verdict of the court of first instance and the appeal decision.

On May 23, the Federal Ombudsman’s representative took part in the session of the court of cassation, during which it was proposed to the court to annul the previous court decisions and forward the criminal case for a new consideration.

As a result, the Presidium of the Moscow City Court accepted the High Commissioner’s arguments, annulled the decisions of the first instance and appeal courts and forwarded the case for a fresh consideration by a different composition of the same court.

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