Krasnodar Regional Court dismisses environmentalists’ appeal against conviction

posted 23 Dec 2013, 07:38 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 23 Dec 2013, 08:08 ]
18 December 2013

Source: (info)
The Presidium of Krasnodar Regional Court has dismissed an appeal by environmentalists Suren Gazaryan and Evgeny Vitishko, convicted in 2012 and sentenced to three years' probation for damaging a fence near a building the environmentalists believe to be a dacha belonging to the governor of Kuban, Aleksandr Tkachev, reported on 18 December, citing RIA Novosti.

"The presidium of the Regional Court has ruled as follows: to reject the appeal and throw it out," said the judge at the hearing.

It should be noted that in November Gazaryan's appeal to the Supreme Court was upheld. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Presidium of Krasnodar Regional Court, which first heard the appeal, should conduct a review of the proceedings. The defence team of those convicted insisted that the conviction should be overturned and the defendants be acquitted. The Prosecutor's Office requested that the court's decision be allowed to stand.

On 12 June 2013 Gazaryan was granted political asylum in Estonia. Russian law enforcement agencies had put him on a federal wanted list.

A criminal case against the activist was initiated because of alleged death threats made against a security guard at 'Putin's dacha'.

On 2 August a group of activists who were going to visit a pier being constructed near 'Putin's Palace' ran into security guards from the private security company Rubin on the Black Sea coast. The security guards refused to let the environmentalists pass. Gazaryan said that the activists, "not wanting to start a fight", left, even though the Water Code guarantees the right of access to a 20-metre wide strip of land along the coast.

Translated by Lindsay Munford