One “Khimki hostage” acquitted, another one got 2 years suspended
On the 24th of June, judge of the Khimki city court of Moscow region of Russia, Neonila Zepalova, sentenced “Khimki hostages”, anti-fascist activists Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov, who were accused of organisation of a radical demonstration against construction of the Moscow-St. Petersburg toll highway, which took place in Moscow Suburb of Khimki 28th of July.
Alexei Gaskarov, who came to action 28th of July 2010 as a correspondent of the Institute of Common Actions, was acquired and cleared of all charges. Another defendant, anti-fascist Maxim Solopov, was sentenced for “hooliganism” (statute 213, paragraph 2 of Russian criminal codex) for two years suspended sentence, with a probation period of two years.
Judge declared, that Solopov was shooting to air from a traumatic pistol, and threw city administration with objects. In her conclusion, judge referred to testimony of witnesses Krivoshanova and Khramova. Krivoshanova rejected the testimony she provided during the investiogation, and also filled a formal complaint at the prosecutor’s office due to psychological pressure that was applied against her during the interrogations. But besides this, judge considered her previous testimony eligible, as prosecutor’s office decided not to open a criminal case against investigators.
As for the witnesses of the prosecution, Khramov and his friend Pitel, they are not inhabitants of the Khimki, but from Mytischi region of Moscow. Allegedly they came to Khimki to meet some girls, whom they could not describe during the court session. And they, as well as witness of the prosecution Parshin, have a criminal record, and cooperating with police is in their own interests. Khramov and Pitel claimed, that they could remember very well the faces of the accused (although Pitel give confusing testimony, as he was unable to remember which of the accused took off a mask next to him), but neither of them could remember how the defendants were dressed.
Testimony of Pitel and Khramov, given during the preliminary investigation, was identical and apparently copied from a common source. During court hearing, Khramov said that it was around 30 or 40 persons participating to action of 28th of July, whereas Pitel was talking about several hundred. Pitel and Khramov claimed that they followed events around “Table of honour” not far from the city administration, but in photographs and video footage where this spot is included, Pitel and Khramov are not present.
Conclusion of the court is also referring to certain video footage from the action, where one may see a person, which is allegedly dressed as Maxim Solopov. As Maxim Solopov argued during the process, this footage never went through the required process of recognition of the persons present in the footage.
Judge considered unsubstantiated claim of the prosecution, that there was an organised group, which organised the action at the city administration.
Maxim Solopov wants to appeal against his sentence, and Alexey Gaskarov will be pressing for rehabilitation, and a monetary compensation for the three months he spent in remand prison.
2th of March of 2011, another Russian anti-fascist Denis Solopov, brother of Maxim Solopov, was arrested in Kiev, and is currently remanded there.
4th of April, in a closed hearing in local court of Shevchenko region of Kiev, Denis Solopov was detained during the hearing on extradiction. This means, that Denis will be imprisoned while prosecutor general of Ukraine is making a decision on his extradiction. According to lawyer of Solopov, judge did not took into consideration the fact, that already before his arrest, Denis was given a status of mandatory refugee by Kiev presentation of UNCHR, and also that he has contested the decision of migration service of Kiev not to give him a refugee status in Ukraine. 31st of May Shevchenkovsky court prolonged arrest of Denis for two more months. 22nd of Juny in Moscow, in memorial center of Andrei Sakharov, an exhibition of artwork of Denis Solopov was opened.
Campaign to Free Khimki Hostages