Sullivan writes book while under house arrest for Capitol riot involvement
Roman Udot left under house arrest
An expert on the purity of elections is tried for threatening employees of the NTV channel
On Thursday, June 13, the Khimki City Court heard a case on the extension of house arrest for Roman Udot, a human rights activist who has been investigating electoral fraud for many years. The term of the arrest was supposed to end on June 16, but the judge of the Khimki city court Lyudmila Fedorchenko decided to extend it for a month – until July 16.
Roman Udot, a member of the Golos election observer movement council and one of the movement’s key experts, was arrested on charges of threatening to kill several NTV employees in late May, on the eve of the start of regional election campaigns, including the Moscow City Duma elections..
How the case developed?
Roman Udot and his family became objects of intrusive attention of the journalists of the NTV channel. On March 20, 2018, at the Sheremetevo airport, Udot was met by the NTV film crew. Udot refused to communicate with them and shouted a threat at them. He took away the phone from NTV journalist Alexandra Miroshnichenko and took the film crew to the nearest police station to write a statement: Udot claimed that his right to privacy was violated. Miroshnichenko accused Udot of robbery.
In April, a criminal case was opened against Udot. At that time, Udot was outside Russia on a working trip. He was not in exile and tried to cooperate with the investigation. However, he was put on the federal wanted list. On May 15, 2019, Roman Udot returned to Russia, appeared at the Sheremetyevo Inquiry Department and wrote a petition to reopen the criminal case initiated against him and demanded that he be given a summons for interrogation..
The court sent Udot under house arrest: he is allowed to communicate with relatives, a lawyer and an investigator, but the Internet, telephone and walks are prohibited..
If convicted, Udot could face up to two years in prison on charges of death threats or serious bodily harm..
Views of the parties
The lawyer and colleagues of the human rights defender consider the process to be fabricated and link the persecution of Udot with his professional activities. The Human Rights Center “Memorial” included Roman Udot in its “List of 77”. This list includes Russian political prisoners who were unlawfully persecuted for their beliefs.
The investigation believes that Udot may be dangerous. Speaking, Udot recalled that during the two weeks of his house arrest, only one investigative action was performed – he was charged.
Udot’s lawyer Maxim Pashkov said that he and his client had sent several requests to the investigation, including a request to conduct a confrontation with NTV employees, for whom Udot allegedly poses a danger. However, the investigation did not satisfy them..
Udot’s colleagues from the Golos movement were not surprised by the decision to extend the house arrest period. They believe that they want to isolate their expert until the end of the elections in September – a single voting day is set for September 8, 2019..
Maxim Pashkov considers the measure of restraint to be excessive and illegal, since house arrest cannot be applied if the person cannot be sentenced to imprisonment. Pashkov called the process “clinically absurd.” “We will appeal,” Pashkov said. “Clean Kafka begins. Everyone understands that nothing happened, but they pass a verdict “.
Maxim Pashkov, attorney:
“We will appeal. The clinical absurdity of this case is clear to everyone. The case is absolutely far-fetched. I do not want to sin with conspiracy, but here the political background of this case is very clear. I do not see corpus delicti here. The death threat is when there is a real reason to fear. Well, this one shouted and flew to Brussels. And why be afraid? The interrogator’s statement that he will continue to threaten Miroshnichenko and Zhuravlev is ridiculous, everyone understands this. Pure Kafka begins, the “Process” – absolutely everyone understands everything, and understands that nothing happened, but nevertheless the person is sentenced. “.
Grigory Melkonyants, co-chairman of the Golos movement:
“To be honest, we expected this decision. Because, judging by the zeal with which Roman was sent under arrest, the goal is clear, they want to isolate Roman from observing the elections, which are now actively underway.
On September 8, we have a large number of companies. Roma, of course, is an irreplaceable specialist, whom they simply forbade to communicate with anyone, use the Internet, leave the apartment…
Most likely, [the arrest period] will continue to be extended, at least until September, so that Roma does not participate in the election control.
We, of course, will try to support Roman. We see that Roman is supported by a large number of people, but, apparently, this is still not enough to be able to rescue him from these difficult circumstances. “.
Vitaly Averin, coordinator of the regional branches of the Golos movement:
“Initially, it was clear that the criminal case was absurd. It is difficult to say that the judicial process was independent. At the meeting, Roman quoted a major of the FSIN: when they put a bracelet on him, the major said that he was the very first to whom such a measure of restraint was determined under this article. This is an unprecedented decision even in the Russian judicial practice “.
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