Site Archive‎ > ‎Unfair Trial‎ > ‎Mikhail Savva‎ > ‎

Court extends pre-trial custody of Krasnodar rights defender Mikhail Savva

18 June 2013 

Source: (info
On 17 June Krasnodar Regional Court dismissed an appeal lodged against the extension of detention for Mikhail Savva, a professor at Kuban State University and director of grant programmes of the Southern Regional Resource Center who is suspected of fraud. 

The human rights defender was detained on 12 April on charges under Article 159.2, Section 3, of the Criminal Code (major fraud committed through abuse of an official position). Mikhail Savva is suspected of involvement in the embezzlement of budgetary funds allocated as a grant by the Krasnodar regional government. 

The court ruled that Mikhail Savva be held in custody in April, and in early June his detention was extended until 11 August. Mikhail Savva’s legal counsel appealed the decision. Attorneys requested that Savva be released on bail, notes reports . 

"The court hearing was open to the public, the ruling by the Regional Court was predictable: Savva has been left in custody," Elena Savva, wife of Mikhail Savva, told RIA Novosti . 

She said that the court had been given about a dozen personal sureties by academics, politicians, public figures and journalists from Krasnodar region, that Mikhail Savva, if released from custody, would not hide from the investigative authorities, but the court paid no attention to these. 

Meanwhile Michael Savva has been included in a list of political prisoners. "The chosen measure of restraint in the form of custody looks obviously disproportionate in relation to the seriousness of the crime of which Mikhail Sawa is suspected, especially in terms of the apparent absurdity of the charges," the website of the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners reports. In this regard, the Union has recognized the Mikhail Savva as a political prisoner, the Agency for Social Information reports. 

"FSB officers are putting pressure on those students of Kuban State University who have expressed their support for their teacher Mikhail Sawa,” the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners has declared. “Moreover, Savva was detained three days before he planned to address the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights about the harassment of NGOs in Krasnodar region on 15 April. All this suggests that the persecution of the human rights defender is linked with the repressive campaign against non-profits going on in Russia since March 2013."