Constitutional Court’s judge disagrees with court decision on stripping Tsybko of his powers

Constitutional Court’s judge disagrees with court decision on stripping Tsybko of his powers
Former Senator Konstantin Tsybko

Former member of the Federation Council believes that this once again points to numerous violations and falsification of evidence during the investigation of his criminal case on charges of bribe-taking in the amount of 27.5 million rubles ($457 thousand).⁠

Judge of the Constitutional Court Sergey Knyazev has publicly denounced the refusal of the court to consider the claim of former Chelyabinsk Senator Konstantin Tsybko, accused of taking bribes, regarding the date of termination of his powers.

According to Knyazev, “the ambiguity, vagueness, and inconsistency of legal regulation leads to arbitrariness and weakens the guarantees for the protection of constitutional rights and freedoms.”

Ura.ru notes that the former senator has been challenging in court the entry in the employment record book, according to which September 23, 2015 is considered the last day of his work in the Federation Council. The fact is that already the next day, the Legislative Assembly of the Chelyabinsk region decided to appoint a new senator, Oleg Tsepkin. This decree entered into force on September 24.

With this example, Judge Sergey Knyazev drew attention to the fact that the legislative assembly could not reach a quorum on that day, and the deputies could specify a different date of Tsepkin’s entry into office. Therefore, in the morning of September 24, Tsybko should have remain a senator, especially since on that day the senator participated in the work of the Federation Council and officially submitted to the State Duma a draft law on the right of prosecutors to terminate criminal cases.

Based on these arguments, Knyazev did not agree with the decision of the Constitutional Court, which considered that there was “no uncertainty in the controversial rule.”

Meanwhile, Konstantin Tsybko believes that the day difference for the termination of powers could have meant a lot to him. Earlier, he drew the court's attention to the fact that on September 22, he had sent requests to the Prosecutor General's Office and the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation by guard mail asking them to verify the facts of falsification of evidence (records of interrogation of the same witnesses with different testimony and other). In addition, in these documents, the senator identified the recipients of money embezzled from the budget of Ozersk.

However, due to the expiration of the Tsybko’s term of office, the agencies could not respond to his requests. Moreover, the indictment in the case of ex-senator was approved on September 24 without the permission of the Federation Council, since Tsybko was no longer a senator.

“The dispute over the date of termination of powers is of no fundamental importance for the case. But this is the rarest of cases when the judge publicly and openly pointed to the arbitrariness of a member of the Federation Council. We have already pointed out the violation and falsification of case materials, as well as the disregard for deputies’ requests. Pretty much all the highest authorities have expressed doubts about the objectivity of the investigation and my prosecution,” Konstantin Tsybko stressed, commenting on the situation.

Earlier, Council on Human Rights under the President of the Russian Federation concluded that it is “very likely” that there is an investigation error in the case of Tsybko. July 20, the term of arrest of Konstantin Tsybko and his family’s property expired; the regional prosecutor's office did not request the court to extend it.

As previously reported by the CrimeRussia, Tsybko is charged with receiving two bribes on an especially large scale (part 6 of Art. 290 of the Russian Criminal Code). According to the state prosecution, in 2011, Mayor of Ozersk Evgeny Tarasov paid him 17.5 million rubles ($291 thousand) for assistance in the appointment to the post. As for the 10 million rubles ($166 thousand), local businessman Oleg Laknitsky gave this money to Tsybko in 2012 for assistance in the development of his business in the Chelyabinsk region. The verdict on the case will be announced on August 3.

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