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Genry Reznik: Malobrodsky could become a second Magnitsky [Teatral]

posted 10 May 2018, 12:13 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 10 May 2018, 12:16 ]

28 April 2018

By Genry Reznik

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Teatral]

The Investigative Committee applied for transfer from pretrial custody to house arrest of the former general director of the Gogol Centre, Aleksei Malobrodsky, but a court has dismissed the petition (the prosecutor came out against changing the measure of restraint).

Well-known lawyer, vice-president of the Federal Bar Association, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Genry Reznik, has commented on the situation in an interview for the magazine Teatral.

The investigation asked for Malobrodsky to be transferred to house arrest because it believed he could become a second Magnitsky. A man no longer young and in poor health, being held in such conditions. They decided not to create trouble for themselves.

I do not believe in the humanitarian motives of the actions of those in power. These are unemotional, rational people. What is most important is that they should be intelligent. But if this is not the case, then one may as well give up.

The grounds for the choice of all measures of restraint are the same. When we created the Criminal Procedure Code, we indicated in it that detention in custody is to be used if other measures of restraint cannot be used. Moreover, any pretrial restriction is selected based on specific grounds: the accused may abscond from the investigation and the court, continue to engage in criminal activity, put pressure on witnesses and so on. If there are no such grounds, then the measure of restraint need not be applied, and the accused will be simply obliged to appear in court.

But among our investigators there is a deep-rooted view that if there is an indictment, then measures of pre-trial restraint should be applied, and consequently they are always used in Russian practice.

For reasons of professional ethics, I only exceptionally comment on cases in which I am not acting. Nevertheless, I will point out that in the case of the “Seventh studio” we can speak of an excessively repressive approach to the conduct of the investigation. Serebrennikov was not allowed to attend his mother’s funeral, or see the premiere of the ballet Nureyev. This repressive approach is expressed in the unfounded use of harsh measures of pre-trial restraint.


Aleksei Malobrodsky has been held on remand since June 2017. His defence has repeatedly applied to change his detention to house arrest because of Malobrodsky’s age and state of health (because of his long detention in pretrial detention his chronic illnesses have worsened). The court has also received the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights which decided that Malobrodsky’s detention was unfounded, and a guarantee by the Israeli embassy not to issue him a new passport (Malobrodsky has dual citizenship).

Translated by Frances Robson