Photo: Natalya Rezontova
Judicial board on administrative cases of the Nizhegorodsky Regional Court dismissed the appellate appeal against the ruling of the court of the first instance. Previously, the Leninsky District Court dismissed the lawsuit of lawyer Ruslan Sozonov and Natalya Rezontova, apprehended in January 2021. A lawyer was not allowed to visit her, allegedly due to “Krepost” (Fortress) plan, according to which no strangers can be allowed inside a police department.
On 31 January 2021, a woman was apprehended during a rally and taken to police department No.3 of Nizhny Novgorod. Lawyer Ruslan Sozonov arrived there, as well, however, he was not allowed inside. In absence of the lawyer, a material on administrative violation was formed with regard to Natalya Rezontova. In addition, she was interrogated in the capacity of a witness in a criminal case.
To the attorney’s request about the causes of this denial of access, head of police department Mikhail Abramov replied that on that day “Krepost” plan was applied which prohibited access to the police department. According to him, it was done based on the current operational environment, large number of the apprehended, as well as for the purpose of antiterrorist protection. However, this plan did not become an obstacle for the officers to draw up protocols on administrative violations as well as get in and out of the police department.
Journalist Natalya Rezontova and lawyer Ruslan Sozonov applied to court. In the course of the hearing, representative of the Department of the Interior for Nizhny Novgorod confirmed that on that day “other persons” were coming in the police department without any obstacles and informed that this violation was worked out with the staff. In addition, it has become known that the Ministry of the Interior was preparing for introducing “Krepost” plan a few days prior to that and decided to perform a drill on the actions of the staff on the day of the rally. This disproves the version of the head of the police department on the “current operational environment” on 31 January 2021. The court of the first instance dismissed the demands under the lawsuit, having acknowledged the legality of the denial of the lawyer’s access to Natalya Rezontova.
On 22 June, the judicial board on administrative cases of the Nizhegorodsky Regional Court upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance.