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The Supreme Court, the FSB and illegal wire-tapping

14 December 2012 

Source: (info)
The Supreme Court has ruled that the wire-tapping of Maksim Petlin, leader of the Sverdlovsk branch of the Yabloko party and deputy of the Ekaterinburg Duma, was lawful. The security services took an interest in Maksim Petlin following his participation in events organised by the Solidarity movement.

The Supreme Court decided that participation in protests and sharp criticism of the government were legitimate reasons to permit surveillance of representatives of the opposition, writes the newspaper Vedomosti in the article ‘A Bug for the Noisy Ones” (No. 238, 14 December)

Petlin says that he challenged the “unfounded and ungrounded” decision of the Sverdlovsk regional court to authorise surveillance of him and that such an approach opens the door for unconstitutional actions since it treats criticism of the government as extremism.

In answer the Supreme Court said that the manner in which the Solidarity movement conducted political struggle was through protest activity, including in destructive forms, and also propaganda work with the public. On the 31st of each month, Petlin took part in activities organized by Solidarity at which the current government was criticised and negative views were expressed about the “extension of FSB powers”. “In such circumstances, the court correctly concluded that Petlin’s actions included public appeals to conduct extremist activity,” the ruling on appeal by Supreme Court judge Galina Istomina stated.

Sergei Mitrokhin, Yabloko leader, said the Supreme Court’s judgment would set a precedent for all other courts and thereby instigate a new round of persecution of the opposition, writes