The court’s ruling on the rally case is «fantastic,» but it is «a draft of the sentences that await us in the future,» said lawyer Kaloy Ahilgov.

«The relevance of politicized cases is growing every day. The Ingush rally case is pure political revenge, and it’s likely that similar cases await us in the future,» said the lawyer, speaking in a program called «A Tale of Rights» on the Youtube channel Ekho Moskvy.

According to the lawyer, what the defendants were charged with — organizing the use of violence and the creation of an extremist community — is a relative new construction. «This is such an innovation in judicial practice. And it should be taken into account, because everything that concerns mass events that end in clashes with representatives of law enforcement — they can and most likely will be qualified under this article,» he suggested.

Kaloy Ahilgov is sure that this verdict «will clearly show us the direction in which the court practice in such cases will look,» «and such cases will certainly be politically motivated.

He recalled the events preceding the rally that eventually tied the protest leaders to the cause. In June 2018, a gathering of several dozen residents took place, the participants of which expressed their desire to change the system of election of the head of the republic.

«People wanted direct elections back… Several people were brought to administrative responsibility at the time. Of those who were prosecuted today, only one person was convicted, and the other six did not know each other at all. But for some reason, the investigation believes that since June 2018 was the moment of creation of an extremist community. [And later a rally of many thousands against the agreement on the border with Chechnya was allegedly organized as part of this extremist community],» pointed out Kaloy Ahilgov.

At the same time, according to him, «there is no evidence in the materials of the criminal case to confirm this fact. «Moreover, when we questioned the former Minister of Internal Affairs, his deputy, who headed the Center for Combating Extremism — they all said that they had no information that there was any extremist community on the territory of Ingushetia. They confirmed this in court, too. But the judge says that they had no such information, because the defendants used messengers WhatsApp and Telegram in order to deep conspiracy,» the lawyer said.

He pointed to the absurdity of such an assumption, since it was supposedly impossible to identify such a conspiracy, «but for some reason they suddenly established that this extremist community exists…». «This shows that there was no extremist community, it was just necessary to impute this article. This is also confirmed by the fact that the very charge of establishing an extremist community was brought seven months after the people had been detained… And they were detained «for organizing the use of violence. But there is also an interesting point here: there are people who were detained for organizing the use of violence (seven people), and then there are people who were convicted [were] already convicted of the use of violence itself. Some of the verdicts say that violence was not used because of any animosity, as it should be in an extremist community…,» he said.

Among the important points, Akhilgov also noted that the notice for rallies in Magas was given after the fact — when people were already standing on the square. «Naturally, it contradicts the requirements of the law. But it is even more contrary to the requirements of the law to approve such a rally. That is, the authorities have agreed such a rally, and agreed a week in advance… But the court says: if you knew that you were not in compliance with the notice, then you should not have come out… But for some reason the court does not evaluate the actions of the authorities», — he said.

In addition, Kaloj Ahilgov recalled the falsification of voting protocols according to the agreement, the recognition of this document as illegal by the Constitutional Court of RI and the subsequent abolition of such courts in the regions.

«The Supreme Court says: the courts must distinguish political hatred from personal animosity. And when we tell the court that all the defendants were acquainted with [former head of Ingushetia] Evkurov, had personal relations with him … But the court refused to call Evkurov as a witness despite the fact that his name is mentioned in the indictment more than 12 thousand times», — said the lawyer.

He also pointed out other glaring inconsistencies and the two main theses used throughout the 363 pages of the verdict: «the existence of this or that evidence of innocence does not mean that they [defendants] are innocent; neither does the absence of this or that evidence of guilt mean that you are innocent.»

«We understand that this decision was not made in the courtroom, but in other offices,» Ahilgov said. In his opinion, this is a «fantastic verdict.» «This is something I’ve never seen in my practice,» he says.

Today, there is hope that this verdict will be overturned by the European Court of Human Rights, concluded Kaloy Ahilgov.

Recall that rallies against the border agreement between Ingushetia and Chechnya have been held in Magas since autumn 2018. In March 2019, they turned into clashes with security forces and detentions of activists. A total of 46 people were arrested, most of them receiving real sentences on charges of violence against authorities. Akhmed Barakhoev, Musa Malsagov, Ismail Nalgiev, Zarifa Sautieva, Malsag Uzhakhov, Bagaudin Khautiev and Barakh Chemurziev, also detained in the rally case, were charged with extremism. On December 15, the Kislovodsk city court sentenced them to terms from 7.5 to 9 years in prison.

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