Questioning of Orlov's Defense Witnesses Completed

Yesterday, on January 13, 2011 in the court district 363 of Moscow's Khamovniki district (Ulitsa 1905 goda, d. 4, str. 1) another court session was held in the lawsuit on libel against the Chair of the Board of Human Rights Center "Memorial" Oleg Orlov.

During the session, which lasted for about five hours, defense witnesses Grigoriy Shvedov, editor of the internet portal "Caucasian Knot" ("Kavkaskii uzel"), Igor Kalyapin, leader of the "Committee against torture" ("Komitet protiv pytok") and coordinator of the United mobile groups of human rights organisations in the Republic of Chechnya (Svodnye mobilnye gruppy pravozashchitykh organisatsii v Chechenskoy Respublike), as well as Aleksandr Mnatsakanyan, expert on the North Caucasus, journalist, entered the witness stand. A full Russian transcription of the session can be found on the HRC "Memorial" website in the near future.

At the end of the session the representative of the complainant Andrey Krasnenkov filed a petition to hear Sergey Adamovich Kovalev as a witness. Krasnenkov explained that Kovalev had repeatedly spoken out in public about Kadyrov as a criminal, and that he was apparently aware of some facts that could be used as evidence in Orlov's case.

Orlov's lawyer Henry Reznik called the petition untenable since Kovalev wouldn't be able to tell anything about the facts of the case.

Judge Morozova rejected the petition.

Moreover, the defendant Orlov said that Kovalev had already been present at court hearings, heard other witnesses questionings and thus, could not act as a witness himself.

The next session is scheduled for February 8, 2011, 11:00 a.m.. During this session the complainant (in case of his appearance) and the defendant will be heard. Also the written evidence of the defense will be examined.

January 14, 2011