Team 29: Best not to read anything, in case you stumble across come kind of secret!

posted 7 Feb 2019, 12:09 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 7 Feb 2019, 12:26 ]
1 February 2019

What’s going on?

Nothing is happening with the case of the scientist Viktor Kudryavtsev.  The investigation is grinding to a halt. They don’t seem to know what to do, so, to play it safe, they aren’t doing anything at all.  Kudryavtsev has served six months in Lefortovo, and even the judge is now wondering why, if the FSB is so sure that he’s guilty, the investigator doesn’t commission an expert opinion.  Kudryavtsev’s lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, talks about what’s been happening with the case in recent months.

What should I read?

Best not to read anything, I fear, in case you stumble across some kind of secret!  We have written what’s often called the ‘ultimate guide to the various categories of Russian secret.  Some of them are an effective tool of repression (such as state secrets, which the government accuses people of disclosing on the slightest pretext), while others you are sort of bound to protect (such as doctor-patient confidentiality or personal privacy), but in reality things aren’t that simple.

·    If you did read something, then invoke force majeure.  The Ministry of Justice is proposing that government officials not be penalised for corruption in such cases (we explain what this actually means). So, that could apply to you, too, right?

·    If you aren’t put off, then you should read this interview with the head of Team 29, Ivan Pavlov – it’s all about how state secrets mess with people’s lives and help send them off to prison camps.

What do I do?

The main thing is, avoid getting out of your car if the police stop you, don’t ask the officers to identify themselves, and certainly don’t become a lawyer!  Nearly a year ago, Pavel Zlomnov was detained by the roadside and beaten up.  After being asked to identify themselves, one of the police officers jammed a finger in Pavel’s ear, rupturing his eardrum.  Zlomnov was accused of illegal arms trafficking.  He was held in a remand centre for a year, but they never managed to prepare his case for trial.  The custody time limit expired and, in order to avoid releasing Zlomnov, a new charge of justification of terrorism was filed against him.  To be on the safe side, they filed a case against his brother, his father, and the lawyers Mikhail and Andrei Zlomnov (who were defending Pavel), for causing offence to the investigator.  I’m lost for words.  Do something good!

Until next time!

Katya and T29

Translated by Lindsay Munford