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Charges brought against Barabanov and Savelov in Bolotnaya Square Case

22 November 2012 

Source: (info)
Agora Human Rights Association reports that the Investigative Committee has presented Artem Savelov with the final version of the indictment against him at the No. 4 Moscow pre-trial detention facility where he is being held. Savelov, who has been interrogated as a suspect, is being represented by Farit Murtazin on the initiative of Agora. Next week the investigators plan to conclude the process of providing Savelov with access to all expert assessments conducted in connection with the Bolotnaya Square investigation. 

Artem Savelov is accused of using violence that did not endanger the life or health of others against a representative of the authorities who was performing their duties (Article 318, Section 1, of the Criminal Code of Russia). Article 318 provides for a punishment of deprivation of liberty for up to five years. Savelov is also charged with participating in violent rioting (Article 212, Part 2, of the Criminal Code of Russia). Article 212 provides for punishments of up to 8 years in prison. 

“Since time was running short for the investigators from the Investigative Committee, they decided to play it safe: in the interrogation cell of the remand prison, by the time of my arrival there were not only Savelov and the investigators, but also an appointed lawyer, who had also been present at the initial detention of my client," Farit Murtazin told Agora. “Then Savelov again made a written statement that he did not wish to have the services of the free legal representation that the investigation could provide at any time.”

The lawyer Murtazin said that final version of the charges against his client Artem Savelov contained a very detailed description of the legal basis for the presence of the police and Ministry of Interior troops at the demonstration of 6th May 2012 and how they exercised the powers available to them. According to Murtazin, in the whole ten page document, little more than ten lines was devoted to Savelov himself.

After Savelov had been indicted with the final charges they showed a video in the cell which Savelov’s lawyer Murtazin had previously insisted be included in the evidence of the case. The defence counsel said that the video caught the moment when a crush developed among the participants of the rally and several people were literally pushed through the police cordon. “You can see how Savelov is being pushed from behind, how he flies head down and falls to the ground. People go past, stepping on him," Murtazin said, noting that Savelov injured his left knee in the fall. Investigators asked whether Savelov confirms that he is shown on this video and in the freeze-frame screenshots from it. Savelov answered in the affirmative.

“And then, referring to our video, which clearly shows how Savelov was pushed as he fell and puts his shoe back on, the investigator started to fabricate fantastic conclusions and asked why Savelov pushed a man who stood in front of him. The investigator gave the impression that he had looked at a totally different video, not the one that had just been shown.

During the questioning, the accused Artem Savelov did not admit he was guilty of the charges brought against him. His lawyer, Murtazin, streesed: "The video is proof that Savelov did not commit any of the illegal actions of which he stands accused".

Savelov’s counsel, Murtazin, also drew attention to the conclusions of the medical forensic investigation into the health status of the accused, initiated by the prosecution.

“According to this document, a strange picture emerges," the lawyer Farit Murtazin said. “Because there was a lot of noise at the demonstration, experts were not able to hear clearly what Savelov shouted, yet they ‘heard’ that he stuttered (!), as he shouted slogans.”

On Friday 16th November final charges were brought against one other person involved in the Bolotnaya Square case, Andrei Barabanov. He faces the same charges as Savelov.

Svetlana Sydorkina, the lawyer assigned by the Agora Human Rights Association, is representing Barabanov.

On 2nd November Moscow’s Basmanny district court granted the request of the investigators to extend the pre-trial detention of Artem Savelov, despite a personal guarantee by Sergei Sokolov, deputy editor of Novaya gazeta and the offer by Savelov’s father to pledge a bond for bail of 540,000 roubles.