Case against Memorial Anti-Discrimination Centre returned to Prosecutors

posted 14 Jun 2013, 06:55 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Jun 2013, 10:51 ]
13 June 2013 

Source: (info)
On 27 May 2013 a magistrate’s court in St. Petersburg ruled that the administrative case against Memorial Anti-Discrimination Centre should be returned to the prosecutors because of the large number of procedural violations it contained.

One of the failings listed in the court's judgment was that the prosecutors of St. Petersburg’s Admiralty district had not given any reasons for the inspection, in terms of tasks and functions, or on what basis they were given authority to conduct oversight and review in relation to the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Centre. For these reasons the court did not find it possible to establish what served as the grounds for the prosecutor’s finding that there had been an administrative violation.

Judge Olga Glushanok also said that there were no documents in the materials of the case that would confirm the authority of the assistant prosecutor D. I. Smirnov to conduct an inspection in a different territorial district.

According to the judge, the address of the website and the location of the БЧУ Memorial Anti-Discrimination Centre could not be considered as the place where the violations were committed, since information resources can be located in many countries, and publications on a website can be carried out using means of communication by any person, while the information itself is located on a distant server.

Moreover the judge found that bringing charges simultaneously under two sections (1 and 2) of Article 19.34 of the Administrative Code constituted a violation.

The ruling stresses that the case materials do not contain evidence of the funding of Memorial Anti-Discrimination Centre from a foreign source, participation by Centre in the organization or conducting of political activities intended to change government policy, or the influencing of public opinion for this purpose.

In this way the justice of the peace concluded that ‘the indicated failings are significant and cannot be remedied during the course of the court hearing.’. The judge ruled that the administrative case against Memorial Anti-Discrimination Centre be returned to the prosecutors from the Admiralty district of St. Petersburg for the purpose of remedying these failings.