Today the Lazarevsky District Court has once again adjourned the hearing of the criminal case against 8 officers of the Sochi OMON (special police force) charged with the mass beatings in the youth camp “Druzhba” when dozens of people, including minors, were injured. The trial was postponed until 17 October. You may remember that in summer of 2006 the Committee Against Torture in cooperation with a number of Russian human rights NGOs, on of which is the Public Verdict Foundation, carried out a public investigation into the incident and established the fact of a violation by policemen of Article 3 of the Convention (Prohibition of torture).
The court’s decision to adjourn the hearing was again caused by the failure of the defence lawyers to appear before the court for no good reasons. Lawyer Nikolay Shakhovalov who represents the interests of victims moved a motion to make a submission to the Chamber of Advocates to subject them to disciplinary proceedings. The court satisfied the motion and adopted a decision to make a submission in respect of 4 defence lawyers.
It should be mentioned that lawyer Shakhovalov acts pursuant to an Agreement with the Public Verdict Foundation.