The state of health of Russian opponent Vladimir Kara-Murza, arrested in a pre-trial detention center since April 2022, has deteriorated so much that he could not be taken to the second hearing of the Moscow City Court in his case on Thursday.
According to Kara-Murza’s lawyers, at the beginning of the meeting, presiding judge SG Podoprigorov read a certificate from the medical unit of SIZO-5 “Vodnik” according to which, for health reasons, Vladimir could not participate in legal and investigative actions until the end of the treatment. And today, we do not yet know when this course will end.
The official diagnosis given to Vladimir by the chief neurologist of the Federal Penitentiary Service in Moscow is polyneuropathy (following two serious poisonings in 2015 and 2017).
After the hearing was postponed until the following Monday, Kara-Murza’s lawyers, Vadim Prokhorov and Maria Eismont, issued a statement to the press.
“Today’s meeting unfortunately confirmed the alarming reports that Vladimir Kara-Murza’s condition has seriously deteriorated during his stay in remand center No. 5 in Vodnik,” Prokhorov said. “He develops polyneuropathy. Obviously, this is a consequence of two serious poisonings in 2015 and 2017, which worsened during my stay in the remand center. And even the representatives of the SIZO medical unit, who, as a rule, are quite critical of the limits of legal and investigative actions, even admit that in such a state, legal and investigative actions are impossible.
Prokhorov specifically noted that “the situation is very alarming.” He also recalled that “this process is presided over by a judge who, at some point, chose a restraint measure in the notorious case of Sergei Magnitsky”.
Lawyer Maria Eismont said that “it is the rarest case for a Russian remand center not to release a person in court for health reasons. We often encounter the opposite, that people feel bad, yet we write to them that they can participate in legal and investigative actions. And here, on the initiative of the medical unit, Volodya was not brought to justice. It wasn’t even at his request, but on the initiative of the medical unit. We must understand that in our conditions this really means a serious situation.
The lawyers promised to take all possible measures for the prompt examination of Kara-Murza in a civilian hospital and for treatment on the spot. The defense will also raise the question of the modification of the preventive measure.
Three criminal charges have been brought against Vladimir Kara-Murza: treason, false information about the Russian military and activities of an “undesirable organization” for collaborating with Open Russia.
On Tuesday, the court began to consider the Kara-Murza case on the merits. The process takes place behind closed doors. According to lawyer Vadim Prokhorov, the case against Vladimir will be considered by a panel of three judges, one of whom is Sergei Podoprigorov, who is on the Magnitsky list, in which Kara-Murza himself participated.
Position of Vladimir Kara-Murza according to the charge against him is as follows: this case is political, completely fabricated, violates the rights of a citizen guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
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