In Mari El proceedings against the head of CAT regional branch are discontinued

Событие | Пресс центр

10 October 2013

The Prosecutor’s Office of Yoshkar-Ola city has discontinued administrative proceedings brought against the Head of the regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» for two administrative offenses. Dmitry Egoshin was suspected of violation of rules for collecting and processing personal data of individuals and of abuse of delegated authorities. As for Dmitry, he has no doubt that the groundless proceedings were inspired by Deputy City Prosecutor Aleksandr Pavlov who wished to take vengeance on the human rights defender for his repeated demands to take disciplinary action against the prosecutor for failure to perform his legal duties.

(Photo: Dmitry Egoshin)

«Both cases on the suspicion of committing administrative offenses were closed due to the statute of limitations», says Sergey Petryakov, a lawyer working with the human rights association «Agora» who represents Dmitry Egoshin’s interests. «As the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation have noted before, when proceedings are discontinued for these grounds, the authorities can not find an individual guilty due to the presumption of innocence. Thus, the Prosecutor’s Office failed to prove its allegations in due time, and Dmitry is presumed innocent».

Moreover, at the beginning of September Mr Egoshin received a telephone call from the Prosecutor’s Office of Yoshkar-Ola. Then, the officials admitted that they had been unable to find the case files.

«They simply lost the case files. As they told me, the girl who had carried out the inquiry and issued the decision to open proceedings against me had either resigned, or left for another unit of the Office. They could not figure it out, what was the point in initiating proceedings based on such groundless and unsupported allegations», comments the Head of the Mari El regional branch of the Commitee Against Torture, Dmitry Egoshin. «I believe that all this situation with trying to bring me to administrative responsibility was a mere try of revenge after we had repeatedly applied to the Prosecutor’s Office to make it carry out an effective prosecutor’s supervision over cases of our applicants, just in line with the relevant provisions of the procedural law. Having attained no result, we started requesting to take disciplinary action against Mr Pavlov for failure to perform his legal duties. So, within the framework of their «foreign agent hunt project», our office was visited by a whole delegation of the police and prosecutor’s office officials who were trying their best to find a slightest violation. It is ridiculous, for the proceedings initiated then had to be discontinued by Mr Aleksandr Pavlov himself».

The story began when at the end of April 2013 officials from the Prosecutor’s Office of Yoshkar Ola together with attesting witnesses arrived at the office of the Mari El regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» and seized the NGO’s internal documents. Dmitry Egoshin was then suspected of failure to obtain from four of the Committee’s applicants written consent for personal data processing.