Supreme Court to consider possibility of quashing Aleksei Pichugin’s conviction

posted 31 Jul 2013, 12:10 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 31 Jul 2013, 12:12 ]
30 July 2013 

Source: (info)
On 30th July,, citing Kommersant, reported that the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is examining grounds for quashing the conviction of Aleksei Pichugin, a former chief security officer of the Yukos oil company, who is serving a life term. He is accused of conspiracy to murder.

The case of Aleksei Pichugin case is currently pending examination by the chair of the Supreme Court, Vyacheslav Lebedev. Based on the results of his review, Lebedev will decide whether to ask the presidium of the Supreme Court to quash the sentence. 

The basis for a review of the case is the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, which, in the autumn of 2012 ruled that the first trial of Aleksei Pichugin in 2004-2005 violated several provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular the right to a fair trial. The European Court of Human Rights considered that there were no grounds for the trial to be conducted in closed session.

As Pichugin’s lawyer Kseniya Kostromina explained, the judgment of the European Court stated held that the only possible means of correcting the violation is to conduct a new trial. She expressed the hope that as a result of the review, the Supreme Court will send the first case against Pichugin to Moscow City Court for a retrial. She pointed out that holding a trial in closed session without good reason is usually grounds for the quashing of a conviction. 

In 2005, Aleksei Pichugin was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for organising the murder of husband and wife, Olga and Sergei Gorin, and the attempted murder of Viktor Kolesov and Olga Kostina. In 2007, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for organising the murder of head of Phoenix Trading Company Ltd, Valentina Korneeva, and the mayor of Nefteyugansk, Vladimir Petiukhov. Pichugin himself completely denies the allegations.