Site Archive‎ > ‎Freedom of assembly‎ > ‎May 2012‎ > ‎Investigation‎ > ‎

Human rights activists lodge appeal with Moscow City Court against Maksim Luzyanin verdict

19 November 2012 

Source: (info
A cassation appeal against the verdict handed down by the Zamoskvoretsky district court in Moscow which found Maksim Luzyanin guilty of using violence against public officials and of taking part in mass disturbances has been lodged with the Moscow City Court. This was announced by the Agora Human Rights Association, citing lawyer Dmitry Dinze (pictured), who at the request of Agora is representing the interests of one of the people implicated in the Bolotnaya Square case, Denis Lutskevich.

In the cassation appeal the lawyer notes that Luzyanin is charged with acts that were committed in collaboration with others. In this connection, the consideration of the criminal case against Luzyanin separately from the main case significantly violates the right to defence of others, including Lutskevich.

If the verdict comes into legal force, the main principle of comprehensiveness and impartiality will be contravened for the following reasons: (1) in considering the case against Luzyanin, the court should have established the existence of mass disturbances, but in view of the fact that he pleaded guilty, the court considered the case under a special procedure and did not fully review the evidence, instead accepting as an established and proven fact that mass disturbances had taken place; (2) the presence or absence of a criminal act (the mass disturbances) is not obvious and requires appropriate evidence; (3) in the future, the guilty verdict, in terms of establishing the fact that mass disturbances took place, will have a prejudicial effect in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code, meaning that the principle of the assumption of innocence will be violated with regard to the said Denis Lutskevich.

Lawyer Dmitry Dinze cites the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, according to which, in the interests of a comprehensive, impartial and complete consideration, criminal cases against individuals charged with complicity should be considered together.

“In my opinion, it was no accident that the investigative authorities treated the case against Luzyanin separately,” lawyer Dinze says. “In this way a whole chain of guilty verdicts can follow on from the Luzyanin case, in which the court established the fact of mass disturbances. This judgment will be used by the investigators and prosecutors against my client. All our subsequent evidence and arguments will be rejected without any attempts at verifying them simply by referring to the guilty verdict against Luzyanin.”

The lawyer also drew the attention of the panel of judges of the Moscow City Court to the fact that the judge of the Zamoskvoretsky District Court Andrei Fedin (at Luzyanin’s trial) did not consider his request to return his case to the public prosecutor to be combined with the other criminal cases. In this way Denis Lutskevich’s right to defence was significantly violated.

In the cassation appeal, lawyer Dinze requests the panel of judges for criminal cases of the Moscow City Court to overturn the decision of the Zamoskvoretsky District Court in Moscow and send the case for a new trial in order to decide on the issue of returning Luzyanin’s case to the public prosecutor so that it can be combined with other criminal cases with regard to the other individuals involved.

Lawyers for another two defendants in the Bolotnaya Square case, Andrei Barabanov and Artyom Savelov, have also lodged cassation appeals against the Luzyanin verdict with the Moscow City Court.