In the course of today’s hearings at the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic on the examination of the appeal of Ruslan Kutaev’s lawyers against the court decision delivered on 7 July this year, the hearing of the parties’ arguments continued. Next hearing during which the parties are going to come out with replies starts tomorrow at 11 a.m.
As we have previously reported, on July 7 in the Urus-Martan City Court of the Chechen Republic the verdict in the case of Ruslan Kutaev, a Chechen social activist and political figure, was announced. He was found guilty of criminal offenses under Article 228 (2) of Russian Criminal Code (illegal acquisition and possession of large quantity of drugs without intent to sell) and sentenced to a 4-year prison term to be served in general regime (minimum security) penal colony. Plus – a year of supervised release with prohibition on social activism.
Kutaev repeatedly emphasized that he considered his case forged. In their turn, human rights defenders with the Joint Mobile Group (JMG) claimed that this case was forged and the defendant gave the self-incriminating statements under torture.
The Chechen authorities rejected any political motives in the case (the man was arrested one day after he had participated in the conference dedicated to the 70-th anniversary of Chechen – Ingush deportation, the conference was not agreed with the authorities), and argued that the prosecution of the 56-year-old Chechen politician was a standard and commonplace criminal case.
Examination of the appeal against the court decision in the case of Ruslan Kutaev goes on for seven days and already has become record-breaking in terms of duration for the Chechen Republic. The progress of this appeal examination can be tracked from the publications on our web-site.