Latest developments in Krasnodar trial of civil society activist Mikhail Savva

posted 3 Mar 2014, 05:19 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 3 Mar 2014, 05:22 ]
27 February 2014

Elena Savva

On 25 February Judge V.V.Popova, sitting in the Pervomaisky district court in Krasnodar, took an important decision: the prosecution of V.Yu.Remmler was halted and made into a separate case. This means that, from this moment on, only Mikhail Savva will be prosecuted. And prosecuted based exclusively on the unsupported testimony of V.Yu.Remmler.

On 24 February M.V.Savva in his appeal to the court said the following:

"… I do not object to the stopping of the case against V.Yu.Remmler if the defendant really needs medical treatment. However, I categorically object to the prosecution of V.Yu.Remmler being made into a separate case since I consider that this, as proposed by Judge V.V.Popova, is intended to remove from my case a person who gave evidence essential to the prosecution. I also object to the permission given to V.Yu.Remmler to leave the country, since it would enable her to avoid taking further part in my trial. In the trumped-up case against me there is no objective evidence whatsoever of my guilt.

This alleged evidence consists solely of testimony given by V.Yu.Remmler under dictation of the investigators which does not correspond with reality and is a clear falsehood. I believe that an unofficial deal was made between the investigators from the Krasnodar Federal Security Service (FSB) and V.Yu.Remmler: release from prosecution in exchange for giving the necessary testimony.

Savva’s legal representatives proposed that the trial of both defendants should be halted. The Judge did not release V.Yu.Remmler from the imposed travel restrictions. However, the prosecutor at the trial explained that V.Yu.Remmler could, if necessary,address a request to the Judge that she travel outside Krasnodar region or abroad.

We expected this decision since the scheme by which these trials on fabricated charges progress is almost always the same. Many experts following the trial had long since asked when the charges against V.Yu.Remmler would be brought into a separate case.

Mikhail Savva is charged under Article 159.2. "Fraud involving receipt of social payments’. According to evidence given by V.Yu.Remmler, she received 366,000 roubles, paid to the account of her company Pilot, to conduct a piece of sociological research as part of a project, entitled ‘Building Peace’, of the Southern Regional Resource Centre. Of this sum, she allegedly gave 266,000 roubles to Mikhail Savva, kept 100,000 for herself, and the costs of the research, which was conducted in full, were paid for by her company.

Of course, we shall lodge an appeal against today’s court decision since from the point of view of common sense it is simply impossible to hear the case against Mikhail Savva without the only person on whose testimony the charges against him are based.

  • For more information about the case of Mikhail Savva, see the materials provided by the group of support on VKontakte and his website
  • Members of the Presidential Human Rights Council Andrei Yurov and Ilya Shablinsky analysed the Savva case with great clarity on the programme of the Sakharov Centre, Talking Heads.