- Press Release No. 100/1101
On September 17, the 101st Garrison Court, Orenburg, held a circuit hearing in the premises of the Nizhny Tagil Garrison Court, Sverdlov Region. The court completed the trial of the case of the death of Nikolai Ishimov (b. 1986) from the Chelyabinsk Region. Kolya Ishimov died in military unit 58612, Sverdlovsk Region: on August 20, 2007, he was shot by a drunken warrant officer, Vladimir Bazelev, in the presence of his fellow servicemen (47 guys stood in front of his gun).
Let us remind you that this is the second trial of the case in the court of first instance. The previous trial was held six months ago. On March 28, 2008 Judge Shakhov passed a decision according to which Bazelev was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in a penal settlement. The Mother's Right Foundation filed a cassation appeal against the verdict. On August 11, a panel of judges of the 3d Military District Court satisfied our cassation appeal and reversed the verdict passed by Judge Shakhov as unfair and too light. Then the case was tried in the 101st Garrison Court. This time it was Judge Rushan Melisovich Rachapov who ran the trial (see press releases: No. 96/1097 of September 12, 2008; No. 97/1098 of September 15, 2008; No. 98/1099 of September 16, 2008).
On September 17, the court pronounced the testimony of the mother of the deceased, Lubov Grigorievna Ishimova, in which she asked to give Bazelev the maximum penalty.
Then, Mr. Scherbak, Bazelev's attorney, asked a lot of question to Zarema Yusupova and Julia Lebedeva, lawyers of the Mother's Right Foundation who represented the interests of the mother of the deceased. His questions were funny and not to the point: ‘Why didn't you visit Ishimova?' ‘When was the last time you phoned her?' And the most humiliating question was as follows: ‘Why didn't you submit to the court Ishimova's photos: before her son's death and after it?'
Attorney Scherbak received comprehensive answers to all of his questions: we didn't visit Ishimova because it was not necessary and because the Mother's Right Foundation had no funds for a business trip; only trips to courts are financed; unlike hired attorneys we do not charge our clients and help them for free (the attorney said that the foundation lawyers tried to count his money and thus violated rules of ethics); we called to the mother of the deceased just before the hearing; we are not going to find out Mrs. Ishimova's financial position because the decision on compensation should not depend on whether the parents are poor or rich but on the fact that their son died in the army and the guilty unit should answer for the criminal actions of its drunken warrant officer.
Then, there was a debate.
Prosecutor Sergei Alexeyevich Medvedyuk asked to sentence Bazelev to the maximum penalty, 5 years and 8 months of deprivation of liberty; he asked to allow the claim in part - in the amount of 1,000,000 rubles.
The lawyers of the Mother's Right Foundation, Zarema Yusupova and Julia Lebedeva, announced the foundation's position: taking into account all the circumstances and testimonies, the case should be submitted to the preliminary investigation body; Bazelev's charge sheet should be changed, i.e. Article 286, s. 3, p.p. (b) and (c) of the RF CC (abuse of power or official authority, with grave consequences) and Article 119 of the RF CC (murder threat - event with Vasily L.) should be added. These charges are appropriate for the crime committed by Bazelev. Then, the foundation would be able to demand the maximum penalty on behalf of the mother of the deceased, i.e. 15 years of imprisonment.
The attorney asked to take into account Bazelev's good references and the fact that he had been cooperating with the investigation. He asked to exclude from the charge sheet Article 344 as not proved. The attorney drew the attention of the court to the fact that, in his opinion, the foundation lawyers were dragging out the trial by making the court consider the case once again, by demanding that some witnesses should be subpoenaed, by filing a claim for compensation for moral damage, etc. He asked the court to take into account that his defendant was ready to pay 20,000 rubles to the mother of the deceased. (By the way, Lubov Grigorievna Ishimova said many times that she didn't want anything from Bazelev. She wants the maximum penalty for the man who killed her Kolya.)
Bazelev himself asked for a term in a penal settlement.
Mr. Nasonov, the unit's representative, supported his yesterday's position: the unit should not be obliged to pay for warrant officer Bazelev who committed a crime while in service.
After discussion, the court passed a decision: 5.8 years in colony of general regime (maximum penalty within that range); compensation for moral damage in the amount of 1,000,000 rubles from the guilty unit (maximum amount for an army death).
Only after numerous petitions, complaints, publications in the media, we've got a different verdict.
At present, we are discussing our further steps in representing the interests of Kolya Ishimov's mother. Journalists interested in the case will find the necessary information in the press releases of the Mother's Right Foundation.