Neither Kadyrov nor his Representative Appeared in Court

Yesterday, on March 28, 2011, should have taken place the next court hearing in the criminal case instituted against Oleg Orlov, head of the Board of Human Rights Center "Memorial", for libel against Ramzan Kadyrov.

It was assumed that R. Kadyrov would appear before the Court in order to testify.

At the end of February, the day before the last court hearing, R. Kadyrov's representative A. Krasnenkov declared: ''More than anything, Kadyrov is a law-abiding citizen and does not oppose the federal authorities nor the judicial system. Therefore, not taking part in the legal process is impossible for him" (interfax.ru).

The victim was expected to appear on the last court hearing (http://www.memo.ru/eng/news/2011/03/04/0403111.html, in English) on March, 3rd but he did not come, due to ''his being very busy''.

During the hearing on March 28, R. Kadyrov did not appear before the Court, nor did A. Krasnenkov, his representative.

The Judge K. Morozova read two requests sent to the Court by A. Krasnenkov.

In the first one, he asked to postpone the hearing of two weeks ''because R.A. Kadyrov was on vacation''.

In the second request, he explained the cause of his own absence, saying he was very busy with another trial.

G. Reznik, Orlov's defender, declared that the parties to the case are put into a situation in which they have to agree with the postponement of the court hearing. Then he asked the Court to decide, in case the victim should not appear on the next hearing, if the victim's personal presence would really be necessary for the trial to continue: ''Today's legislation of criminal procedures allows a case to be ended even in the victim's absence, only if, of course, the Court does not consider his appearance necessary''.

The Judge informed the parties that the Court had repeatedly sent to R. Kadyrov subpoenas and telegrams to summon him to Court as the victim, but did not receive any answer.

The next court hearing will take place on April 18, at 11.00 am, during which we expect to hear the victim's testimony.

At the end of the hearing, the defendant O. Orlov commented: ''To all previous court hearings in this trial, the victim's representative was present. It means that Ramzan Kadyrov must be aware that he was expected to appear before the Court on many occasions. However, he does not come, sometimes because he is working a lot, sometimes because he is having some time off. The subpoenas are left unanswered. And today, Mr. Krasnenkov did not appear either. It arises a question: why does he consider another case more important than the one whose date has been fixed earlier on and with his agreement? It seems to me there is here a lack of respect regarding the Court.

Not long ago in the media was published Mr. Krasnenskov's statement about the fact that ''by the 28th, we will not have the time to present our additional proofs, documents and transcripts''.

Who is included in that ''we'' is yet not very clear.

It is very surprising that, during the whole seven months of the procedure, those ''we'' did not manage to collect a convincing evidential base and that today, in a hurry, not having the time within the time limits fixed, they should prepare some additional proofs of my culpability. At the very beginning of the case, the media informed that Mr. Krasnenkov promised to present to the Court 'sensational documents' exposing ''Memorial''. Months have passed and those documents have still not yet been presented to the Court. Maybe they are preparing them in haste? It certainly makes us wonder''.

The last court hearing transcript will soon be available on the HRC ''Memorial'' website.

March 28, 2011