22 August 2020
Hi. It’s Elya Pakhomova.
We have big news – the pre-trial investigation in the case of the scientist Viktor Kudryavtsev has been suspended pending his recovery. Team 29 lawyers Ivan Pavlov and Yevgeny Smirnov have been pushing for this decision for some time now. Several times, they applied for the investigation into Viktor Viktorovich to be stopped on account of the catastrophic deterioration of his health after a year’s incarceration in Lefortovo remand centre. Whilst in detention, he was diagnosed with diabetes and alcoholism.
However, the defence’s applications were rejected time and again by investigators. But then, a few weeks after investigator Aleksandr Chaban had turned down the latest of our applications, we were notified that the investigation into this case had been suspended. We very much hope this means that things will get easier for Viktor Viktorovich, and that he will start on the road to recovery. We recently described how he’s doing on the podcast series ‘On Treason’. You can have a listen on Simplecast, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Yandex.Music, and VK.
Also this week, the court took the decision to extend the restrictive measures against another Team 29 client, Karina Tsurkan, this time until 24 October. Karina Tsurkan has already been in pre-trial detention for over two years. Her lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, characterises what’s going on as blatant paper shuffling. According to Kommersant’s sources, “the FSB isn’t handing over files for the confirmation of the indictment to the General Prosecutor, or indeed records relating to staff changes in the investigations office of the intelligence services itself, changes which may have resulted from (amongst other things) the inadequate investigation of ‘spy’ cases”.
In addition, Ivan Pavlov and Yevgeny Smirnov submitted appeals against warrants to search the home of the journalist Ivan Safronov and his mother. The lawyers maintain that the court’s search warrants did not have sufficient grounds to be considered justified.
If the searches are found to be unlawful, then none of the items that have been confiscated can be added to the record of the criminal case. “The investigation has not yet explained the charge against Safronov, not substantively. A number of key questions remain unanswered. The same is true of the grounds for the searches,” stated Pavlov.
Please be reminded that there are only seven days left until the end of the crowdfunding campaign for Ivan Safronov. 87% of the amount needed has already been collected. You can still do your bit!
Translated by Lindsay Munford