Dialogue with High Commissioner. Right to fair trial

03 October 2017
Dialogue with High Commissioner. Right to fair trial

People with disabilities are one of the most unprotected social groups. They face overwhelming tasks every day, fight and win. Looking at them, you involuntarily rethink your own life. And in situations where a knowingly helpless person is accused of something he would never have done, I am ready to do everything possible to help.

I was approached by P., a person with visual disabilities in the second category from childhood. The man does not see anything beyond 15 centimeters. He and his wife came to Moscow from the Orenburg Region for a long treatment, but to do that it was necessary to rent an apartment.

Citizen M. promised to help the family find housing. Realizing that P. can not move alone in the dark in an unfamiliar city, the man promised to take him to an alleged rented apartment. But…

A criminal case under the article «robbery» was instituted against M. and P. The disabled person was taken into custody; he was kept there for 4 months without proper treatment.

According to investigators, on November 2, 2016, the men, by prior conspiracy with each other, having intent to steal someone else’s property, forcibly stole a bag from citizen v. , having caused material damage amounting to 2000 rubles.

P. could not see what was happening, he could hear only bits and pieces of the conversation as far as M. had left him stepped aside. P. did not know where he was, so he simply stood and waited.

I have every reason to believe that in his physical condition the applicant could not have committed the crime. During the detention he had a document confirming his visual disability. Despite this circumstance, P. was not provided with a defender, which is a grave violation of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation.

In addition, a protocol with which P. was allegedly acquainted was provided as evidence in court. This is absurd, given that the applicant does not know how to write and read, because he did not attend school due to eye disease.

I sent an employee of the High Commissioner Office to participate in the hearing in the capacity of defence counsel. My representative filed an application for the resumption of the judicial investigation and the appointment of a forensic medical examination.

On September 26, the court ruled that the criminal case against P. would be treated as a separate case and returned to the prosecutor’s office in order to resolve the contradictions.

We continue working in the framework of this appeal.

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