Investigation "blocked" defense counsel for Nikita Belykh
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) does not permit Vadim Prokhorov, defense counsel for Nikita Belykh, to meet his client in Lefortovo pre-trial detention facility.
According to Vadim Prokhorov, members of the investigation team stopped responding to his calls, although before they were telling him that this is just a "technical issue" that would be rectified on Monday.
The attorney must get permission to meet Belykh as soon as possible because tomorrow is the deadline to appeal his detention.
“Investigator Roman Mukhachev refuses to communicate with me by cell phone; other investigators do not pick up my calls to their office number; everybody has disappeared. I can’t get a permission from the investigation to be engaged into the proceedings, although I am the only attorney, according to the agreement. This violates my client’s right to defense,” – Prokhorov told Interfax on Monday. The lawyer noted that he was suggested to drop the papers to the mailbox on the ICR building in Technichesky by-street, but in that case he would get a response only in a few days – while the appeal deadline is tomorrow.
On Saturday, June 25, 2016, the Basmanny District Court of Moscow imposed pre-trial restrictions on the Governor of the Kirov Region: 2-months in detention, until August 24, 2016. He is accused of accepting a bribe of €400 thousand.
According to the defense, the ICR has violated prosecution procedures against Belykh; therefore, his detention is illegal. Vadim Prokhorov explained that a criminal case against an elected official must be initiated personally by the Head of the Regional Investigations Directorate of ICR. The lawyer noted that “a criminal case against a governor, whom 400 thousand people voted for, was initiated by an ordinary senior investigator”. After the court session, lawyers for Nikita Belikh announced that they will file complaints both against the arrest of their client and the initiation of a criminal case against him.
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