The Ingush activists in the courtroom. Photo:

27 April 2023, 18:09

Defence of Ingush protest leaders demands disqualification of judges

The Stavropol Territorial Court has begun considering an appeal in the case of seven leaders of Ingush protests, despite the absence of several advocates for valid reasons. The activists' defence demanded to remove the judges, because they communicated with the prosecutors outside the trial.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that since January 13, an appeal process has been underway in the case of the Ingush protest leaders, accused of creating an extremist community. On December 15, 2021, the court sentenced Akhmed Barakhoev, Musa Malsagov and Malsag Uzhakhov to nine years in prison each; Ismail Nalgiev, Bagaudin Khautiev and Barakh Chemurziev – to eight years each; and Zarifa Sautieva – to 7.5 years in prison. The activists have been indicatively sentenced to long terms for a peaceful protest, journalists and political analysts believe.

Bashir Tochiev, the advocate, who is defending Akhmed Barakhoev, has demanded to challenge the court staff, but received no response to his motion. "There are reasonable suspicions that prosecutors communicate with judges outside the trial," Mr Tochiev has explained.

The advocates, Magomed Abubakarov, Kaloi Akhilgov, Andrei Sabinin, Fatima Urusova and Andrei Plotnikov are absent from the trial for valid reasons; however, the court has started the trial without them, the "Memorial" Centre for Human Rights Defence has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 27, 2023 at 03:51 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: СK correspondent

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