2008/04/10 "M.U. 41600 Would Not Let Victim’s Representative and Accredited Journalists Get to Court!"
  • Press Release No. 37/1038
  • 10/04/2008

Today, April 10 the circuit court session of the 235th Garrison Court considered the case of Sergei Zakharov (b. 1988) from Orenburg. Sergei served in M.U. 41600, Domodedovsky District, Moscow Region, and died on December 29, 2007. Captain Alexei Viktorovich Melnikov was charged under Article 286, Section 3, Clauses ‘a' and ‘c'.

It's the first time the Mother's Right Foundation finds itself in such a situation:

The hearing was scheduled for 11:00. At 10:00, the brother of the deceased and Tatiana Sladkova, representative of the mother of the deceased and a lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation, arrived at the gates of M.U. 41600 to participate in the circuit court session, like in the case of Captain Klassen (see Press Release No. 12/1013 of February 12, 2008). We took into account the threats which Captain Melnikov addressed to our lawyer Julia Larina while giving testimony during the previous trial, so this time the mother of the deceased and lawyer Sladkova were accompanied by journalists, including Denis Telmanov, reporter of the Gazette, and several journalists from the Ren TV. But the accredited journalists did not get into the unit's territory and participate in the open (!) court session. They would not let them enter. ALSO, THEY WOULD NOT LET TATIANA SLADKOVA, THE VICTIMS' REPRESENTATIVE, GET TO COURT!!! (preventing a victim's representative from taking part in a trial is considered as violation of Article 42 of the RF CPC and Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms). They were proposed to wait for the judge.

...At last Judge Serdyukov arrived. When he knew that the victims' representative could not get to court, he said, ‘We don't need her'. Then his car drove into the unit, while our lawyer stayed by the closed gates.

...Some time passed, and the court understood that the situation meant the cancellation of their decision in the court of cassation. They let our lawyer enter the territory of the unit. But the journalists badly needed by the Zakharovs are still by the closed gates. What makes the situation even more ridiculous is that the journalists received accreditation through the Moscow Military District Court.