Moscow court holds first hearing in "antifascist extremist community" case

After two weeks ago the case against Nizhny Novgorod antifascists (the
Antifa-RASH case) was sent back to prosecutor's office "to remove
doubts, irregularities and obstacles" by a court, which is not likely to
hear that case again, the case against Moscow-based antifascist Igor
Kharchenko may set a precedent. The case, which is being heard by
Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky district court, includes charges under Article
282, Part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (participation in extremist

Apart from extremism, Kharchenko is also charged under Article 111, Part
2 (intended grievous bodily harm), Article 115, Part 2 (intended light
bodily harm) and Article 213, Part 2 (hooliganism).
According to investigators, on June 4, 2010 Igor Kharchenko "committed
participation in an extremist community" (a quote from the charge
sheet). Along with a group of unidentified persons, who were members of
"a structural unit of the AntiFa movement, which constitutes an
extremist community", Kharchenko allegedly attacked two ultra-right
activists, Vladlen Sumin and Vladimir Zhidousov. During the brawl the
attackers are alleged to have used knives, glass bottles and non-lethal
weapons, inflicting grievous and light bodily harm. Investigators say
that they did this motivated by hatred and hostility to "social group of
First court hearing was delayed, as victims failed to appear in court.
They did not appeared at the second hearing on November 7 either. The
summonses were returned after delivery terms expired.
The court session started with a small scandal. Defendant Igor
Kharchenko was brought into the session hall by escort convoy
accompanied by a dog. "Can you film me with the doggy?" laughing
Kharchenko asked a TV cameraman who was filming him. Presence of animals
has become fashionable in district-level courts when a high-profile case
is being heard. Dog's presence was sharply opposed by Kharchenko's
lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin, who informed the court that he does not see
any justification for the dog's presence in the hall, while there are
reasons for the dog to be removed, as Trepashkin suffers from a serious
allergy to animal hair. After a few minutes' worth of backchat, it
emerged that the dog was in the hall by virtue of Order No. 140, but as
the order was classified, these justifications would not be announced.
The dog was removed.
Due to victims' failure to appear, prosecution, namely prosecutor
Kazanova, suggested that their earler testimony be read. Defence and
defendent were opposed, as they have a number of questions to ask from
victims. Judge Tatyana Kovalevskaya rejected the prosecution's proposal.
In order not to move the court session for the third time, all sides
agreed to an amendment in the court procedure and to start studying
documents which prosecution presented as evidence of Kharchenko's guilt.
What was happening after that can hardly be described as "study".
Prosecutor Kazanova was simply reading out the numbers of pages in the
case which she said contained evidence. "Everyone is familiar with the
case materials," she said. However, the feeling one would get was that
Kazanova herself actually saw the materials for the first time. It
sounded like that: "Volume one. Case pages 33 to 35. Protocol of
inspection with a layout scheme." Or "Volume four. Recorded CD. Decree
on inclusion as evidence." Lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin asked a
clarification question concerning the address where crime took place (at
least three locations are listed in the case), and received a judge's
comment for it.
It was not clear what motivated the prosecution when it was listing
guilt evidence. Documents that were listed included Kharchenko's good
conduct certificates from his employer and university, a decree on
arraignment of Denis Solopov as a suspect (One of the victims, Vladlen
Sumin, initially identified two of his attackers, Kharchenko and
Solopov, and his testimony was confirmed by a lie detector. Then it
turned out that Denis Solopov was not in Russia on the day of the attack
- he was in Turkey. After the Federal Security Service (FSB) confirmed
authenticity of border stamps in Solopov's passport, charges against him
were dropped.), or a decree on inclusion as evidence of "knives for
cutting wallpaper, cardboard and linoleum," discovered at a construction
site nearby, on which "Kharchenko's fingerprints were not discovered".
Lawyer Trepashkin announced that by the next court session he would
prepare a motion to exclude the knives from the list of
evidence, as they do not constitute any proof and are unrelated to the case.
Prosecutor Kazanova only read a couple of documents separately and in
full. They included testimony of one of the victims, Vladimir Zhidousov.
He stated that he and Sumin were walking along Letnikovskaya street in
the evening of June 4, 2010. They saw a group of some 30 people who were
moving towards them, led by Kharchenko. They were acting rude, and were
swearing. "Who are you, you right-wingers? You're done with," they told
the nationalists and took out handguns. One of the bullets grazed
Zhidousov's cheek. As he was falling down, he saw Kharchenko stab Sumin
several times... They were shouting "You're fucked! Antifa!"
The other document was acknowledgement of guilt from witness Barinov. He
told investigator Kochergin (the fourth investigator in the case) that
he voluntarily came to the Main Investigations Directorate for Moscow's
Central Administrative District to tell him that on August 31, 2012,
lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin forced (sic!) him and several other people to
write at his dictation statements saying that they all saw Igor
Kharchenko performing at a gig on the evening of June 4, 2010.
Barinov's acknowledgement of guilt was dated October 12, 2012 - which
was the day when police broke into his flat and took him for an interview.
After the prosecution finished, lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin filed two
motions on inclusion of evidence. One was a lie-detector test of witness
Kamenko, who said that he saw Igor Kharchenko on stage at 1Rock Club all
through the evening of June 4, and that Kharchenko did not beat Sumin or
Zhidousov. Lie detector confirmed that Kamenko was telling the truth.
Judge Kovalevskaya rejected the motion due to incorrect documentation
and suggested that Kamenko be summoned to appear as a witness, as the
same questions can be asked of him at court. The second motion, despite
prosecution's objections, was approved by the court. Results of
independent expert evaluation, which confirmed that there were no traces
of retouching or photoshopping on photographs taken in the evening of
June 4 at 1Rock Club, and that the person photographed there was indeed
Igor Kharchenko, were included as evidence.
Next court hearing is scheduled for November 27.

>From Novaya Gazeta newspaper website, Nov 7, 2012
By Nadezhda Prusenkova

Posted By

Nov 16 2012 19:17



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