14 years in a strict regime prison for sending a CV to Sweden: the case of Gennady Kravtsov

posted 24 Sep 2015, 12:52 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Sep 2015, 12:59 ]
21 September 2015

Source: HRO.org (info)
In closed court proceedings, Judge Nikolai Tkachuk has sentenced 36-year-old radio engineer Gennady Kravtsov, a former employee of Russia’s military intelligence agency (GRU), to 14 years in a strict regime prison.

According to the court, Kravtsov’s crime was to send a CV to Sweden while looking for a job a number of years after leaving GRU. The intelligence agencies have taken this as evidence of high treason.

In an interview with Zoya Svetova published on the website of Open Russia, Kravtsov’s lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, says:

"A great many opportunities have now opened up for the defence: firstly because it will be much easier for us to appeal to the Supreme Court since there are no shortage of violations to cite, and secondly because we can take the case to the Constitutional Court. The problems encountered in connection with this case are related to constitutional law. Some of the documents used as a basis for the court proceedings were unpublished regulatory instruments, and – as if that were not enough – unpublished regulatory instruments which the accused had never even been shown and which were adopted after he had left his job with GRU. Kravtsov is accused of breaking rules which he is not allowed to read. This is legal nonsense.

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Lawyers for the defence have also been prevented from seeing these regulatory instruments in full. How can lawyers fulfil their role with any kind of professionalism if they are not permitted to consult the relevant legislation? Not to mention the fact that we were unable to prepare our defence because we were allowed only limited access to the case materials.

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They gave us exercise books marked ‘top secret’, each with an inventory number, and every page is numbered. And if we want to make any notes,, which might contain classified information, then we have to make these notes in the secret exercise books.

We asked the court to at least show us the legislation which provides for the use of such exercise books, since that should give us some indication of what we can and can’t write in them.

The court’s reply? “No, that’s not possible – the legislation is secret.”

To which I replied: “But we’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement – please let us see the legislation.”

The judge, again: “No!”

We said: "But how can we prepare any kind of defence? You’re accusing us of violating rules which we haven't even read.”

The judge even said on several occasions that we lawyers were overly keen to access case materials which contained state secrets, and that this was potential evidence pointing to the criminal disclosure of such secrets. He suggested that the only reason we wanted the information was to make it public." 

Read the full text of Zoya Svetova’s interview with Ivan Pavlov on the Open Russia website

Translated by Joanne Reynolds
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