Procurators file new appeal to Saint Petersburg court

The prosecutor’s office has filed an appeal to the Saint Petersburg city court, arguing that administrative prosecution of ADC “Memorial” was legal because “illegal activities of the said organization had not yet been suspended and were not finished because (sic!) suspension or termination of the operations of ADC “Memorial” is outside the legal competence of the prosecutor’s office”.

Numerous failures in courts of different levels has not convinced the prosecutors of Saint Petersburg that appealing against the decisions of the judges was futile. This time they appealed against the most recent ruling of judge Buchneva to uphold the ruling of the Justice of Peace Glushanok, who back in May 2013 had indicated a number of “fatal flaws” in the actions of the prosecutor’s office during the audit of ADC “Memorial” and the preparation of the protocol on administrative violation.

Following the ruling of Glushanok, judge Buchneva noted the lack of evidence of the legality of the checks as such, the failure to prove the fact of publishing on the Internet the report “Roma people, migrants, activists – victims of police arbitrariness”, the lack of indication of the place and the time of the report’s publication. Furthermore, it is obvious that the period for administrative prosecution has already expired.

But the deputy procurator of Saint Petersburg Chubykin has not agreed with the judges. He is inclined to interpret the supposed violation as an ongoing process, claiming in his appeal that  “since the activities of ADC “Memorial” were continuous, it is possible to conclude also the continuous nature of the offenses, and also that publication of materials and (or) their dissemination, including through the mass media and (or) through “the Internet”, was part of its activities, not separable from the other types of activities” (we preserve the style and spelling of the original document).

The prosecutor is not only convinced of the “unlawfulness” of all the activities of ADC “Memorial”, but is also outraged by the fact that “the very illegality of this activity is disputed” by the organization. Apparently , not pleading guilty is a further proof of guilt of human rights defenders in the eyes of the prosecutors.

Thus, the prosecutor’s office not only refuses to comply with the principle of legal certainty, insisting that the human rights organization is guilty of “all of its activities” without specifying what exactly the crime was and why it is “inseparable from other activities”. He also acknowledged that “the offense” is the very existence of ADC “Memorial”, because, according to the logic of the procurator’s office, violations continue insofar as “the activities are not suspended or terminated”.

Deputy chairman of the Saint Petersburg city court M.Pavlyuchenko proposed that ADC “Memorial” presents its objections to the prosecutor’s appeal before December 11. On December 12, 2013 Leninsky district court will hold another round of hearings in a civil case concerning prosecutors’ request to oblige ADC “Memorial” to get listed in the register of organizations serving the functions of a foreign agent and thus to admit that its activities are those of a foreign agent.

The prosecutor’s office continues to astonish the lawyers by inventing new forms of persecution against ADC “Memorial” and denying previously known principles of law.

Deputy procurator’s appeal (in Russian) – Протест зампрокурора Санкт-Петербурга