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My eye-witness account of court hearing on 5 June

5 June 2013 

By Elena Savva

Source: Mikhail Savva Support Group (Vkontakte) 


This is my eye-witness account of what happened today at the Oktober district court in Krasnodar. Until the very last moment there was no information that the court hearing would take place in closed session. The secretary of the court said that the hearing would be in room No. 7. The small room was completely full with people who came to the hearing.

At 10:58 I became worried that the lawyers had not come and I began to phone them. At that moment the doors of the courtroom where we were waiting were locked. When we knocked on the door, we were told that we had locked ourselves in, and they opened them. We found out that the hearing had already begun – but in another court room. We rushed to that room. The guards would not let us in. They said that the hearing was in closed session. We rushed to the office of the court chairman. The secretary told us he was away.

Then I wrote a very simple statement to the chairman of the court. I asked two questions: Why was it decided at the very last moment to hold the hearing in closed session? And who gave the instruction to keep the public who had come to the hearing in another room? The statement was signed by myself and ten other people.

The court hearing did not last long. A number of times the court secretary emerged from the courtroom. We asked her why she had tricked those of us who had come to the court and taken us to another room The young woman pretended she had not heard.

Then a court bailiff came up to us and said that he had instructions to clear the corridor. We asked him to name the person who gave him the instructions. The bailiff said that he would find out. He didn’t try to get rid of us any more. Our student (she had studied under both myself and Mikhail Valentinovich) unsuccessfully tried to give the court secretary a copy of the Russian Constitution.

They brought my husband out. He was being brave, he smiled, but he had lost a lot of weight. In a very narrow corridor, when he was taken past us, we were able to kiss each other. The guards did not prevent us. I managed to pass on greetings from our daughter and grandchild.

We learned the court’s decision from the lawyers. Mikhail's time in custody has been extended until 11 August 2013. The lawyers will appeal against this. In an interview with journalists, I said that Russia was going ever deeper into lawlessness.

Elena Vladimirovna Savva