Lawyer Evgeny Goubin: “I was writing about one thing, and Krasnov responded about a completely different one”, Advokatskaya Ulitsa

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24 January 2020
Evgeny Goubin, photo: www.facebook.com

An epoch of Yury Chaika ended in the history of the General Prosecutor’s Office: the President signed an order assigning a new head of the supervisory authority, Igor Krasnov – the Investigative Committee officer.

”Ulitsa” talked to lawyers and asked them to share their experience of communication with Krasnov-investigator – and at the same time, to estimate what could be expected from Krasnov-prosecutor.

In 2015, Igor Krasnov supervised the investigation of the case on assassination of politician Boris Nemtsov, in which Zaur Dadayev was involved as a main defendant. At the request of human rights defenders with the Committee for Prevention of Torture, lawyer Evgeny Goubin insisted on checking the Zaur Dadayev’s statements concerning torture and forcing to self-incrimination. As a result, Dadayev was declared guilty of assassination and sentenced to 20 years’ prison term.

Evgeny Goubin: In March 2015, Zaur Dadayev informed members of the Public Monitoring Committee of Moscow that he was abducted by unidentified law-enforcement officers who tortured him with electricity and did not give him food. He claimed that the abductors tried to force him to accuse himself – to confess of murdering Boris Nemtsov. Following the advice of human rights defenders, he applied to the Committee for Prevention of Torture (now the organization is working under the name “the Committee Against Torture” without forming a legal entity – comment by “Advokatskaya Ulitsa”). The Committee, which we have been cooperating for a few years, got me involved – not as Dadayev’s defense lawyer, which is important, but as a representative of the applicant. I was supposed to visit the investigative cell and question Dadayev in detail. The problem was that he was kept in Lefortovo. A lawyer can enter any pre-trial investigative facility just by presenting an order and the pass, but Lefortovo is a state within a state, it is impossible to get inside without an authorization from investigator. They just did not let me pass and advised that I should seek for permit from Krasnov who headed the team of investigators.

I called Krasnov and he requested the motion in the written form, saying “Submit everything through the reception, we will review everything and will come back with an answer”. I submitted a document, in which I asked for a visit to the applicant, referring to his complaint regarding tortures and to my agreement with the Committee Against Torture. And I emphasized that I am not Dadayev’s lawyer in the case of murder, other people are invited to do this job, but I still have to question him regarding his torture complaint.

I wrote this all to Krasnov in a clear manner, that I was not Dadayev’s lawyer, but his representative as an applicant. Sometime later I received an answer that my request for access to him is dismissed.
And the reason for that is quite surprising: they referred to Dadayev himself, who did not express his consent that I should be involved in the case as a defense lawyer. But I was never going to do that – and I emphasized this in the motion. It turns out I was writing about one thing and received a response about a completely different one.

We tried to appeal against Krasnov’s ruling – at first at the Basmanny Court, then at the Moscow City Court. Dadayev was even taken to the court hearing, where he confirmed that he agrees to my visit and to my questioning about tortures. But it was in vain – the courts dismissed our appeals.

Krasnov himself did not show up at court, generals do not usually come to court hearings. We were contacting his subordinates, and they did not produce any special impression on me: usual young guys, investigators, nothing special. They were talking to us in a rather polite manner, but it was clear that they expected the court rulings – both of the Basmanny and of the Moscow City Court. There was a feeling that they were sure the court would side with them.

Full text of the article: ”A very harsh investigator, but completely in the limits of the Criminal Code”