The Moscow City Court rejected the appeal of State Duma Deputy from the Communist Party Valery Rashkin against the decision of the Basmanny Court to elect him as a preventive measure a ban on certain actions in the investigation of a criminal case on illegal hunting. Lawyers tried to achieve, in particular, the easing of restrictions on communication, since Valery Rashkin, being a deputy, is obliged to respond to voters’ appeals. However, the court did not find this argument persuasive.
The meeting in the Moscow City Court, where the appeal of the accused Valery Rashkin was considered, took a little over an hour. And all this time, the defense tried to obtain from the investigation a documentary justification for the restrictions imposed on Valery Rashkin. But, according to lawyer Konstantin Lazarev, nothing came of it.
Recall that in the framework of the investigation of a criminal case under Part 2 of Art. 258 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal hunting committed by a person using his official position), the court, at the request of the Main Investigative Committee of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR), on December 13 last year, forbade the communist deputy to leave the housing without the written permission of the investigator from 23 to 7 in the morning; communicate with witnesses and suspects; receive and send postal and telegraph messages, use cellular and special communications, the Internet, as well as visit hunting grounds.
As the defender explained to Kommersant, the essence of the appeal was not to cancel the restrictions imposed on Valery Rashkin, but to soften certain wordings. So, the lawyers and the deputy asked that the court of appeal should replace the words “prohibit” with “restrict” in the decision. It was necessary to soften the restrictions because Valery Rashkin, being a deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, receives many appeals from citizens demanding to resolve this or that issue. In confirmation, the deputy submitted to the presiding officer more than five hundred such letters from his constituents.
The defenders drew the attention of the court to what they considered to be an absurd ban on the use of special communications by Valery Rashkin, which he was entitled to as a deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, noting that all its subscribers had nothing to do with the hunting case. In confirmation, the person under investigation even presented a complete list of persons using the “turntable”.
The prosecutor parried the arguments of the complaint, pointing out, for example, that Valery Rashkin could send deputy requests and receive answers to them through assistants. But this did not suit the defense of the deputy. Since the text of the request will contain the name and signature of his principal, Konstantin Lazarev considered, the investigation may consider this a violation of the ban and apply to the court for a tougher measure of restraint – house arrest or placement in a pre-trial detention center.
The lawyer drew the City Court’s attention to the fact that the investigation did not provide any evidence in the Basmanny Court of his client’s intentions to hide, put pressure on witnesses in the case, or continue to engage in criminal activity. The latter particularly angered the lawyer and his client, who acknowledged participation in the hunt, but continues to deny the allegation that he knew about the lack of permission from the organizer of the event.
The prosecution found the decision of the court of first instance lawful and justified. The Moscow City Court did the same.
“Unfortunately, the meeting was rather formal,” lawyer Lazarev said at the end of it. “Therefore, there is reason to believe that the trial on the merits can also take place formally.”
As Kommersant has already reported, Valery Rashkin was detained on suspicion of illegal hunting at the end of October on the territory of the Lebedka hunting estate in the Saratov region. On this fact, the department of inquiry of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation “Kalinin” opened a criminal case under paragraph “a” part 1 of Art. 258 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal hunting causing major damage). Subsequently, the central apparatus of the ICR took up the investigation of the case, reclassifying the incident to part 2 of Art. 258 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which also provides for imprisonment for a period of 3 to 5 years. On November 25, 2021, the State Duma of the Russian Federation, on the proposal of the Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, deprived Valery Rashkin of immunity. The communist was charged with a two-month injunction.