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18 July 2018

posted 18 Jul 2018, 08:34 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Jul 2018, 09:21 ]
Halting Start For Chechen Rights Activist's Trial Amid Dispute Over Venue
The politically charged drug-possession trial of a prominent human rights activist in Chechnya has gotten off to a halting start as jailed defendant Oyub Titiyev's lawyer did not show up on its opening day. Attorney Ilya Novikov stayed away from the hearing on July 18 because he thought Titiyev's motion to move the trial out of Chechnya was still under consideration, the defense team said. Shortly after the hearing started, the Shali district court adjourned the trial of Titiyev, the head of the Moscow-based right group Memorial's embattled office in Chechnya, until July 19. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [18 July 2018]

Defence convinces Court to wait for Oyub Titiev's advocate
Today, a court hearing in the case against Oyub Titiev has been postponed for a day after the defenders declared the absence of one of the Oyub Titiev's advocates to be a violation of the right to defence. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the Shali City Court scheduled for today the first hearing to consider the merits of the Oyub Titiev's case. On July 15, two days before the trial, the Chechen TV Channel showed a story accusing Oyub Titiev. [...]
Source: Caucasian Knot [18 July 2018]

Asylum Seeker Extradited to Russia Despite Protests by Rights Watchdogs
Slovak authorities have extradited an asylum seeker from the Russian Caucasus region of Ingushetia to Russia, the Justice Ministry said on Wednesday, despite protests by rights watchdogs and a UN Human Rights Committee ruling. Aslan Yandiev had been held in custody in Slovakia since 2011 on a Russian warrant for involvement in a series of bomb attacks in 2006 in Vladikavkaz, Russia's FSB security service said in a statement. Yandiev first asked for asylum in Slovakia under a false name in 2008 after fleeing Ingushetia, saying he had been tortured into confessing to terrorism-related crimes, his attorney Lukas Opett told Reuters. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [18 July 2018]

Browder: Trump May Have Agreed To Help Russian Prosecutors Pursue Him
British-American investor and rights activist William Browder says U.S. President Donald Trump may have made a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their summit to help Russian law enforcement pursue him. In posts on Twitter and an op-ed piece in Time magazine on July 17, Browder said Putin wanted access to him, and in exchange is willing to give U.S. law enforcement agencies access to the 12 Russian intelligence agents who were accused last week of hacking and leaking U.S. Democratic Party documents in an effort to bolster Trump's chances in the 2016 election campaign. "Putin wants to swap 12 Russian GRU agents who hacked the U.S. election for me in his meeting with Trump in Helsinki," Browder said on Twitter. He said Trump appeared to agree with the idea at the summit on July 16 by nodding "approvingly" and later saying he considered it "an incredible offer." [...]
Source: RFE/RL [18 July 2018]

Russian Prosecutors Seek Ex-U.S. Ambassador McFaul for Questioning in Browder Case
Russian prosecutors have said that they seek to question U.S. officials, including a former ambassador to Moscow, as part of an ongoing investigation into financial crimes allegedly committed by U.S.-born hedge fund manager William Browder. Russia branded Browder a national security threat and banned him from the country in 2005, when his Hermitage Capital fund held more than $4 billion in investments. In 2013, Browder was convicted in absentia of tax evasion and sentenced to nine years in prison. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [18 July 2018]

Russian Director Serebrennikov’s House Arrest Extended Until August
A Moscow court extended the house arrest of theater director Kirill Serebrennikov for another two months while he awaits trial on fraud charges that supporters in the arts community argue are politically motivated. Serebrennikov was charged last year with embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) of state funds designated for an art project linked to Moscow’s Gogol Center theater. He faces up to 10 years behind bars. The Basmanny Court extended Serebrennikov’s house arrest until Aug. 22, exactly a year into the director's arrest, Interfax reported Wednesday. The ruling is the fourth consecutive extension of Serebrennikov’s pre-trial detention. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [18 July 2018]