Mikhail Kosenko loses appeal against enforced psychiatric treatment

25 April 2014

Source: HRO.org (info)
Mikhail Kosenko, convicted in the ‘Bolotnaya Square’ trial, has been sent for enforced psychiatric treatment, Grani.ru reports, citing ОVD-Info. Mikhail’s sister, Kseniya, has said her brother will be held at Moscow’s psychiatric hospital No. 5, located in the village of Troitskoe not far from the town of Chekhov in Moscow region. On 25 March Moscow City Court dismissed thirty-eight-year-old Kosenko’s appeal against his conviction, upholding the ruling by Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky district court that Kosenko be committed to a psychiatric hospital for enforced treatment without time limit.

Kosenko’s lawyers had insisted that the conviction must be overturned since the ruling contains misprints and errors of sense. They made a series of requests for the evidence in the case to be given a fresh consideration. All the requests were denied.

Mikhail Kosenko himself, who took part in the hearing by video link from pre-trial detention, said the ‘Bolotnaya Square’ trial had been needed by the authorities to frighten people and to stop them taking part in demonstrations. The authorities behaved in an exceptionally vengeful manner, the political prisoner said. Kosenko insisted the witnesses against him had given false testimony.

At the start of the appeal hearing the court refused to allow a second psychiatric assessment of Kosenko, the judges not even bothering to withdraw from the courtroom when they considered this point.

The ruling that Kosenko should undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment was taken on the basis of an assessment by staff of the Serbsky Institute. On the basis of the case materials, the diagnosis of the Bolotnaya defendant was made yet worse. Independent specialist have subjected this assessment to to severe criticism.

On 8 October last year Judge Ludmila Moskalenko, sitting in Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky district court, found Kosenko guilty of ’participation in riots’ and ‘use of force endangering life and health against a representative of the authorities’ (Article 212 and Article 318, Section 2). Judge Moskalenko found in favour of the prosecution on both counts, and dismissed the arguments of the defence. On grounds of illness, she found Kosenko not responsible for his actions and ordered him to be committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Independent observers identified numerous violations of fair trial in the prosecution of Mikhail Kosenko. Amnesty International has recognized him as a prisoner of conscience.

According to the prosecution, on 6 May 2012 on Bolotnya Square Mikhail Kosenko took part in alleged rioting and caused physical injury to riot police officer Aleksandr Kazmin. Kosenko in his final address to the court stressed the political nature of the Bolotnaya trials. He asked the court to find him responsible for his actions.

Mikhail Kosenko has been held on remand since 8 June 2012. In 1999 he had been diagnosed as suffering from psychiatric ill health (in the ‘second group’ of disabilities) that he developed after experiencing concussion during military service.