At a recent hearing, the prosecution refused to participate in the deliberations in the trial of the Ingush protest leaders. This stance by prosecutors proves absurdity of the prosecution, noted lawyer Magomed Abubakarov. Magomed Bekov believes that the state prosecution has nothing to counter the reasonable arguments of the defense.
On November 17, the hearings on the “Ingush case” ended in Yessentuki. Lawyer Askhab Uzhakhov and public defender Ilez Barakhoyev spoke at the meeting in defense of their fathers. Malsag Uzhakhov, Baghaudin Khautiev and Ismail Nalgiev, as well as the lawyers also made remarks.
All indications are that the case of the Ingush activists is political, said Askhab Uzhakhov. “Most of the witnesses questioned in the case were members of the internal affairs agencies, which demonstrates that the ‘Ingush case’ is not only political, but also ‘police’. […] The entire charge of fact is based on one’s guesses and assumptions,” the lawyer told Fortanga.
According to him, 153 out of 286 people questioned as witnesses in the case were officials, civil servants and law enforcement officers. According to Uzhakhov’s calculations, in the statements of the witnesses for the prosecution and the victims, as well as in the text of the indictment the phrase “not sure” was used 16 times, the word “allegedly” 96 times, the expression “not later” 99 times, “probably” 144 times, “probably” 163 times, “no more” 248 times, “no less” 279 times, “maybe” 310 times, while the record is the word “approximately” which has been used 11,352 times.
In the indictment as a basis for the criminal case was used the wording “sufficient data indicating that the actions of Uzhakhov, Barakhoyev and Malsagov contain elements of a crime under Part 1 of Article 282.1 of the Criminal Code,” said the defendant Malsag Uzhakhov. “Where are they? Why are we never given them?” – he appealed to the court.
“The prosecution claims that my companions and I organized six unsanctioned actions, knowing full well that three such actions already carry a criminal sentence of up to five years(Article 212.1 – “Repeated violation of the established order of organization or holding of a meeting, rally, demonstration, march or picketing”). The mere fact that I have not been charged under this article, combined with the fact that I have been held administratively liable as a participant in rallies and have subsequently had these fines cancelled, indicates that I have not organized any unsanctioned rallies and have not broken any laws in this respect,” said Malsag Uzhakhov in court (a copy of the defendant’s speech is available from Fortanga).
“If a person has been held administratively liable three times within 180 days and fined for participation or organization of unsanctioned public actions, this is a reason to initiate a criminal case under a separate article – 212 part 1. And the prosecution states that the defendants organized six such actions. But if that were true, then they would have a reason to charge under the fourth article, in addition to the existing three – Part 1 of Art. 282 of the Criminal Code (“Organization of an extremist community”), Part. 2 Art. 239 of the Criminal Code (“Establishment of an organization that incites citizens to unlawful acts” and part 2 of art. 318 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Use of violence against a representative of the authorities”). They didn’t do that, because there were no six unsanctioned actions,” Askhab Uzhakhov, a father, explained in a conversation with Fortanga.
The prosecution refused to argue with the defense in court
Lawyer Magomed Abubakarov in his speech focused attention on the fact that the prosecution demonstratively ignored the judicial investigation and the detailed, high-quality analysis of prosecution evidence that was made by the defense in the debates. “The prosecutors said importantly, ‘Our position is unchanged, and we decline to retract. And I was hoping that they would still say in a rejoinder, “Here we have proof, you’re wrong – here it is.” Volume so-and-so, page so-and-so. But no, they don’t do that,” the lawyer’s remarks were quoted by Memorial’s Telegram channel*.
“We cannot say that such behavior at the debate is illegal, but procedurally it is not right. After all, in the debates the judicial investigation is summarized, it is necessary to show what and what has been proved. This position of the prosecutors shows the face of the prosecution, its absurdity”, – explained Abubakarov to “Fortanga”.
“The prosecutor has the opportunity to drop the charges. The whole process has shown that there is no evidence, the prosecution has completely collapsed,” said Magomed Bekov.
According to him, the prosecutors’ refusal to participate in the final part of the debate indicates that the state prosecution has nothing to counter the reasonable arguments of the defense. “Even the so-called evidence presented by the prosecution is in fact evidence of the defence and evidence of the innocence of the defendants. Because not a single piece of evidence of the organization of anything by the defendants was presented at the hearing by the state prosecution. And, of course, they can’t be unequivocally sure about the outcome of the trial. They do not know what verdict will be pronounced by the judge. But based on practice, one can conclude that the prosecutor’s office is confident. Because, as a rule, the court determines the terms for a year and a half to two years lower than those requested by the prosecutor’s office,” the defender said.
We would like to believe that the court will not go along with the prosecutor’s office and take a fair, legal and justified decision and, at least, release all prisoners from custody, said Bekov.
The meeting lasted seven and a half hours, with a lunch break.
The next session is scheduled for November 23. The defendants are expected to deliver their final statement, after which the court will retire to the deliberation room for sentencing.
We should remind you that political prisoners Akhmed Barakhoyev, Musa Malsagov, Ismail Nalgiyev, Zarifa Sautiyeva, Malsag Uzhakhov, Bagaudin Khautiyev and Barakh Chemurziyev are in the dock. There is a separate trial for Akhmed Pogorov. They are accused of organizing the use of violence against security forces at a rally in Magas on March 27, 2019.
Mass protests have been taking place in Ingushetia since autumn 2018. The inhabitants of the republic opposed the agreement on the border with Chechnya. In March 2019, the rallies turned into clashes with security forces and detentions of activists. Most of those arrested in the aftermath of those events received real sentences on charges of violence against public officials.