Defence to appeal sentence imposed on Mikhail Kosenko

posted 14 Oct 2013, 01:37 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Oct 2013, 01:40 ]
8 October 2013

Source: (info)
On 8 October Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky district court pronounced its verdict in the trial of Mikhail Kosenko, a defendant in the Bolotnoye case. According to the court, Kosenko took part in riots on 6 May 2012 during a protest in Moscow, and used life-threatening violence against a public official. In her ruling Judge Ludmila Moskalenko found the defendant not responsible for his actions and ruled that he must undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment. Public Verdict Foundaiton, which has acted as defence for Mikhail Kosenko, will lodge an appeal against the verdict and seek to clear the defendant of all charges. The defendant will be represented by a lawyer from Public Verdict Foundation, Vladimir Rzhanov.

The court’s sentence passed on 8 October was based on a psychiatric analysis carried out at the order of the court by the Serbsky Institute on behalf of the prosecution. In custody, Kosenko’s diagnosis was increased in severity, and the defendant was characterised as posing a ‘danger to society’. The Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia, on behalf of Public Verdict, carried out an evaluation of the expert reports of the Serbsky Institute. President of the Psychiatric Association, Dr. Yury Savenko, appeared in court as an expert and harshly criticised the quality of the assessment ordered by the prosecution, declaring that an independent investigation of Kosenko’s health should be carried out. The lawyers for the defence supported the psychiatrist, but the judge refused to allow an independent assessment of the defendant. Moreover, Kosenko was refused permission by the court to attend his mother’s funeral on the grounds of his ‘psychological condition’.

The fact that Mikhail Kosenko did not commit the crimes he has been accused of by the investigation is confirmed by numerous eyewitnesses who were at close proximity to the place of the event. Oleg Orlov, of the Memorial Human Rights Centre, and Yan Rachinsky, a member of the board of the International Memorial Society, and journalist Aleksandr Podrabinek all gave evidence in court on behalf of the defence.

The court was also presented with photographs and video footage that clearly confirm Kosenko’s innocence. Aleksandr Kazmin, a riot police officer and alleged victim in the case, could not identify Kosenko in court as the person who caused his injuries. Kazmin asked the court not to punish Kosenko.

Mikhail Kosenko, who suffers from a disability, is one of the suspects in the Bolotnoye Case. The charges against him are being treated in a separate trial from that of other defendants. Kosenko has been in custody for over a year, and has not been given essential medical care over the course of this time.