Statement by Human Rights Organizations on the Sentencing of Major Igor Matveev

posted 19 Sep 2011, 06:45 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Sep 2011, 06:46 ]
Source: (info), 13/09/11 

· The Courts · Army · Prisoners · Primorsky Region 

Human rights defenders have published a statement in defence of Major Matveev: 

“On 9 September 2011, Vladivostok garrison military court sentenced Major Igor Vladimirovich Matveev to four years in prison and stripped him of his rank. Matveev is the former head of security for Brigade 6890 of the Eastern regional command of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 

We, the representatives of human rights organizations, have carefully followed Matveev’s trial and believe that his sentence is unlawful and the court failed to prove Matveev’s guilt. Moreover, we believe that Matveev’s case has been a show trial to set an example to any officer who might dare to expose the military’s ‘dirty laundry’. 

During the course of the trial, the court disregarded numerous violations of criminal procedure law. Article 15, Section 3 of the Russian Criminal Procedure Code states: “Courts are not instruments of prosecution, they side neither with the prosecution, nor with the defence.” Yet the court failed to uphold this principle during Matveev’s trial. Upon investigation, we are convinced that the court was on the prosecution’s side from the very start. As a result, we are voicing our doubts that the court maintained its objectivity." [Read more]