Political prisoner Maksim Panfilov refuses to plead guilty

posted 6 Feb 2017, 01:59 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 6 Feb 2017, 02:01 ]
19 January 2017

Source: HRO.org

“Bolotnaya Square prisoner” Maksim Panfilov refused to plead guilty to the charges brought against him at the hearings in his case at the Zamoskvoretsky district court in Moscow, Grani.ru reports.

When, after the announcement of the indictment by the assistant Zamoskvoretsy interdistrict prosecutor Ekaterina Apuchtina, Judge Elena Averchenko asked Maksim Panfilov a question in relation to the charges, he replied: “I believe that on 6 May (2012) my right to freedom of assembly was violated. My right and that of other people who were there.”

Subsequently Judge Averchenko opened the judicial investigation, having begun to study the case materials. The hearings will continue on 25 January 2017, starting at 14:00.

The preliminary hearing took place on 28 December.

The length of Maksim Panfilov’s detention in the Butyrka remand centre in Moscow was extended to the 14 June, despite the fact that Panfilov suffers from a severe neuropsychiatric disorder – Tourette’s syndrome. He pointed out that he does not receive the necessary treatment in prison. In the first nine months of his stay in prison, Panfilov’s health has significantly deteriorated.

Only one request made by the defence has been granted – to add to the case materials an independent review of the examination conducted by the Serbsky Centre. The author of the review, the president of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia, Yury Savenko, rejected the allegation that Panfilov needs to be isolated.

Maksim Panfilov is 31 years old, and he is a resident of Astrakhan. He sympathises with leftist political views. He travelled to Moscow to participate in the ‘March of Millions’ on 6 May 2012. He was arrested and fined 500 roubles under Article 19.3, Section 1, of the Russian Administrative Code (disobedience of a lawful demand of the police). Having returned home to Astrakhan, he no longer engaged in civic activity, according to his mother Marina Danilkina.

He was charged with offences typical for the Bolotnaya Case, namely under Article 212, Section 2 (participation in riots) and Article 318, Section 1, of the Russian Criminal Code (the use of non-threatening violence against a representative of authority). The prosecution alleges that during the Bolotnaya demonstration Panfilov tore the helmet off riot policeman Vladimir Filippov, “causing him physical pain”.

However, the Panfilov’s lawyer Panchenko noted that the policeman’s helmet had not been fastened on, and therefore the officer could not in any way have suffered pain as a result of the act imputed to the political prisoner.

On 7 April 2016 Maksim Panfilov was detained in his own apartment and taken to Moscow. On the following day he was remanded in custody.

Maksim Alekseevich Panfilov, born in 1985, resident of Astrakhan, suffers from a neuropsychiatric disorder, was not working at time of arrest, charged under Article 212, Section 2 (“Participation in riots”), and Article 318, Section 1 (“Use of violence, not dangerous to life or health, against a representative of authority”) of the Russian Criminal Code in the framework of the “Bolotnaya Case”. In custody since 7 April 2016. Recognised as a political prisoner, since the prosecution is being conducted in relation to an alleged offence for which there is no evidence, in violation of the right to a fair trial and the disproportionate use of pre-trial detention against the accused.

For more information about the “Bolotnaya Square case” see HERE.

Translated by Kate Goodby