The Stavropol Territory Court ignored the arguments of the defense about the serious deterioration of Akhmed Pogorov’s health and left him in a pre-trial detention facility until June 26, 2022.

The court session was held in Pyatigorsk on March 23. «The investigation motivated the extension of the period of detention by the fact that now the familiarization with the materials of the case is in progress, which means that my defendant can still escape or put pressure on other participants in the process. They believe that the circumstances that were originally taken into account in the selection of the preventive measure have not changed,» lawyer Magomed Gagiev told Fortanga.

Earlier the prosecution argued the necessity of Pahorau’s detention by the fact that during the preliminary investigation he could influence the course of the investigation — hide evidence and put pressure on witnesses. However, the preliminary investigation ended in mid-February, but the measure of restraint for Pahorou was not changed.

Investigators also insist on the arrest because his client is a former minister of the Interior, which means, in their opinion, he has connections and possibilities to influence law enforcers, said Gagiyev.

The lawyer also said that, in addition to the extensive characterization material, this time he submitted to the court an answer from the SIZO to his request about the state of health of the defendant. «He was recently examined by a cardiologist, had a cardiogram, and was prescribed medication. Previously diagnosed coronary heart disease and hypertension were confirmed,» he said.

Gagiyev said that he drew the court’s attention to the fact that before his detention in February 2021 Pogorov was healthy, but his health condition worsened during his detention in the PDF. «If he continues to be held in a pre-trial detention facility without systematic and regular treatment and the necessary dynamic diagnostics, he will get worse and worse. The defense believes that being in custody poses a real threat to his life,» he said.

According to Gagiev, the court was presented with a conclusion by independent medical experts(Fortanga has a copy at its disposal). In their opinion, Pogorov’s further detention and the related stress and social isolation on the background of basic somatic diseases could lead to «a qualitative decrease in mental activity» up to «deprivation of the ability to understand the nature and meaning of procedural actions» and the ability to exercise his procedural rights and obligations independently. «All of this, in turn, significantly violates the defendant’s right to a defense,» the lawyer believes.

The defense intends to appeal the court’s decision within three days to the Third Court of Appeal, he added.

Gagiev explained that he did not file an appeal against the previous decision to extend the measure of restraint. «The period of detention was only extended by a month, and we did not have time to gather the necessary characterization material. The appeal would not have had time to consider the complaint before today’s extension hearing,» he said.

We should remind you that Pogorov has been kept in pre-trial detention center №1 in Nalchik since June 6, 2021. He was charged with organizing violence against law enforcement officers at a rally in Magas and participation in an extremist community. On May 25, 2021, the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria granted the appeal of his lawyers and transferred him to house arrest. However, Pogorov was only home for one day. The investigation added one more article to the charges, after which the court again changed the measure of restraint for Pogorov’s detention. On December 24, 2021, Pogorov’s arrest was extended for two more months.

Rallies against the Ingushetia-Chechnya border agreement have been held in Magas since autumn 2018. In March 2019, they turned into clashes with security forces and detentions of activists. Most received real sentences on charges of violence against government officials. The court sentenced seven of the leaders of the protest to terms of imprisonment ranging from 7.5 to 9 years.

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