The investigation into the case of Ingush protest leader Akhmed Pogorov has not yet been completed, and the trial will begin in about six months, lawyer Magomed Gagiyev told Fortanga.

“The last time Akhmed Pogorov’s arrest was extended until December 25. Before that date there will be another trial with an obvious decision… There is no guilt in his actions. Earlier, the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria passed a more equitable measure of restraint in the form of house arrest. He (Pogorov) didn’t run away, but they closed him anyway,” said Gagiyev. The session to extend the measure of restraint on Pogorov is scheduled for December 24, he said.

Now the investigation is underway, then there will be a procedure of familiarization with the materials of the criminal case, and the trial against the defendant is likely to begin closer to the middle of 2022, the lawyer believes.

Gagiyev also said that Pogorov had previously suffered from dental and ear disease and was not treated in the pre-trial detention center, but now his condition has improved.

He recalled that Pogorov is a defendant in the “Ingush case,” in which seven protest leaders have already been sentenced to long terms. “I am absolutely convinced of their innocence, of the illegality, the inhumanity of the sentences. The punishment, very harsh. In legal practice, it is very rare for a court to give the same terms that the prosecutor requested,” said Gagiev.

Recall that Akhmed Barakhoev, Musa Malsagov, Ismail Nalgiev, Zarifa Sautieva, Malsag Uzhakhov, Bagaudin Khautiev and Barakh Chemurziev, all 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. There is a separate trial for Akhmed Pogorov. The former Ingush Interior Minister (2002-2003) and one of the leaders of the Ingush protest was detained on 26 February 2021 in his house in Nazran and later taken to Nalchik. In September, Akhmed Pogorov’s arrest was extended for three 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. A total of 46 people were arrested, most of them receiving real sentences on charges of violence against authorities. Seven protest leaders are also in the dock.

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