YABLOKO’s Maxim Petlin is a political prisoner
Press Release, March 21, 2013
“Maxim Petlin can be considered a political prisoner,” YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin commented on the sentence to Maxim Petlin, leader of the Sverdlovsk Region branch of YABLOKO and deputy of the Yekaterinburg City Duma.
“We believe that the sentence is based on a case fabricated by the investigators with gross procedural violations. Petlin’s activities targeted at exposing corruption launched his prosecution,” said Mitrokhin.
According to Mitrokhin, the court acts “in the interest of the clans controlling the city and influencing not only on the city, but also the regional Federal Security Service departments, the prosecutor’s office and the court”.
“We are definitely going to appeal against this decision,” said YABLOKO leader.
According to Sergei Kolosovsky, Petlin’s lawyer, at sentencing, multiple violations, both formal and those referring to the essence of the case, were made by the court.
“From a formal point of view, all the indictments (that submitted by the investigation and that presented in court) failed to clearly state when the crime was committed and what it was. This is due to the fact that there was no crime in reality. We have been pointing it out: there was not crime in Petlin’s actions,” Kolosovsky said.
The court “mechanically copied the indictment without giving any assessment to the evidence of the defence or even to the circumstances established in the court.”
“It has been objectively established that the talks began on February 2 at the initiative of the Forum Group. No one has ever said in the court room that Petlin planned a crime. Nevertheless, the court indicated in the indictment that Petlin had developed a criminal plan and began its implementation on January 20,” Kolosovsky added.
Another obvious violation is publication of the results of the court hearings on the threashold of actual announcement of the verdict.
According to Kolosovsky, “The results of the hearing of the case was distributed by the press service of the Sverdlovsk Court yesterday. This is a violation of the “jury room secrecy”.
Another violation is the lack of the court’s assessment of the evidence from the defence.
YABLOKO members say that obviously prosecution of Maxim Petlin is related to his political activities, as it was on Petlin’s inquiry that a criminal case against Yekaterinburg Water Canal was filed. Petlin had been investigating the corruption schemes of the company’s management since 2009.
Due to Petlin’s opposition activities the Sverdlovsk Region Court allowed to the Federal Security Service to listen to his talks, read his correspondence and put him on surveillance.
On March 21, the Sverdlovsk Region Court sentenced the leader of the Sverdlovsk Region branch of YABLOKO and Yekaterinburg City Duma deputy Maxim Petlin to three years of imprisonment. He was accused for allegedly demanding from the Forum Group developing company 3,000,000 rubles so that to end protests against cutting the park and building a shopping center on its place.
Posted: March 21st, 2013 under Maxim Petlin case.