2012/08/07 "Delaying the Trial?"
  • Press Release No. 60/1494
  • 07/08/2012

TODAY, on August 7, the Mother's Right Foundation continued its free work in the 35th Garrison Court, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. We participate in the trial for the death of Sergei Khudoroshko (b. 1992) who was called up to military service in the Novosibirsk Region and died in M.U. 09762, Kamchatka. The case has been tried under the chairmanship of Judge Roman Zachyosov since May 29. The interests of the parents of the deceased are represented by Zarema Yusupova, a lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation. A serviceman of M.U. 09762, Chamkurov, was charged with ‘violent extortion' and ‘violation of military service regulations resulting in serious consequences'. During the previous 20 (twenty!) hearings, the court interrogated all the witnesses possible (some of them twice) in the court hall and through video conferences; all the case materials and experts' reports were read out. But the court can't begin the debate and pass a decision because the attorney of the accused files numerous petitions which, in our opinion, have nothing to do with the charges. TODAY, Mr. Feshchenko, the attorney of the accused, gladly announced that he is going on vacation on Sunday. The lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation arrived to Kamchatka from Moscow. She has already spent there two months - uninterruptedly and without a vacation. The paid attorney is more tired than the free lawyer from the charitable NGO. The Mother's Right Foundation insists that it's intolerable to delay the trial deliberately!

Here is the chronicle of the last hearings:

On July 20, witness Sklehin confirmed the fact that the servicemen of the subunit were divided into ‘bullies' and ‘crocks'. ‘Bullies' called junior servicemen ‘crocks'. They enjoyed benefits and did not have much to do. For instance, they did not clear away the snow. Chamkurov was a ‘bully'. Sklehin confirmed that it was Chamkurov who compelled junior servicemen to take up a 100-day service (‘When we arrived at the unit, on the first day of our service, Chamkurov proposed us to take up the so called 100-day service. He gave us some time to think about his proposal. At the end of those 100 days, a junior serviceman was to give him a certain amount of money.') The witness confirmed the testimony given during the preliminary investigation.

On July 24, Mr. Mamayev, the Deputy Commander of M.U. 10103 (other unit), told the court about his participation in the administrative investigation:

‘In the course of the investigation, we found out that senior servicemen of the unit had been constantly extorting money from junior servicemen. The latter gave money to get some benefits. When doctor's assistants reported about servicemen's bodily injuries, the commanding officers would not take measures against bullying in the unit. One of the doctor's assistants told about it with tears in her eyes. We've got the impression that the commanding officers knew about bullying but did nothing because it was to their benefit to have informal leaders to keep order in the unit.

According to the investigation, it was Chamkurov who received Khudoroshko's money order but when I asked Chamkurov about it, he denied his guilt. When we showed him a receipt (signed by him), he tried to lay blame on another serviceman. During the investigation, we found out that servicemen had a simple way to leave the territory of the unit: they could get a blank leave pass signed by a commanding officer. Also, there were fake letters of attorney. Such a letter had a seal and a fake sign. Anyone could fill it in and receive somebody else's money'.

On the same day, the court interrogated witness Geliaskarov (the Deputy Commander of the Coast Guard Forces, Pacific Ocean Fleet, who was sent to M.U. 09762 to investigate the circumstances of the tragedy) who clearly expressed his opinion: ‘The commanding officers are guilty because their failure to act lead to Sergei Khudoroshko's death'.

Then, the court interrogated serviceman Tsymbalist, a witness for the defence. His testimony was a surprise to the attorney of the accused, ‘Chamkurov said that he had received Khudoroshko's money order. Chamkurov understood Russian but acted the other way round'.

On July 26, the lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation read out her written explanations for the claim filed against M.U. 09762 and the Ministry of Defence; the court registered them. Let us remind you that on July 10, Prokhorov, a representative of M.U. 09762, promised to submit his objections to the court (as addition to those submitted by Ms. Poikina, another representative of the unit).  We should note that TODAY, on August 7, Prokhorov arrived at the hearing and asked discontentedly about why he had been subpoenaed. Then he left the court...

On the same day (July 26), the attorney of the accused told an entertaining story about some hiding places in M.U. 09762. He proposed that the trial's participants go to the unit and find them. When asked about what they had to do with Sergei Khudoroshko's death, he had nothing to say. Then, the court dismissed Feshchenko's request to have his break outdoors.

On July 31, the hearing was cancelled and delayed for a week...

TODAY, on August 7: at the request of Prosecutor Nosovets, the court interrogated witness Boboshko whose responsibility was to escort sailors to the interrogation place. He denied the assertions of the defence: ‘I did not say that Khodzhiyev had been bullied during the interrogation. I know nothing of it,' said Boboshko. ‘Other servicemen also did not complain about bullying on the part of the investigators'.

The attorney of the accused was disappointed by the answer from the MegaPhone Company (despite the common sense and the case materials, he is eager to find some SMS messages in order to lay blame on some other person - Sergei's girlfriend or somebody else). When his expectations fell flat, he demanded that the accused pass a lie-detector test.

Our lawyer had to remind him something: the court's decision can't be based on the information received with the help of a lie-detector; the results of such tests are subjective.

The court dismissed the attorney's request for a lie-detector test because Chamkurov and the witnesses in the case had given testimonies, and the court was going to consider them.

Next hearing is scheduled for August 8, 2012; 11:00. The mother and father of the deceased have been waiting for a decision in the case of their son's death for more than two months.

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