MOSCOW, August 12 (Itar-Tass) —— The acquittal rate at Russian courts is growing although slowly, says a judiciary statistic report for 2011 posted by the Russian Supreme Court’s Judiciary Department.
“The number of individuals acquitted by courts or having their cases dropped for rehabilitating circumstances has been growing steadily since 2007,” the report said. The rate stood at 2.1% in 2007, 2.5% in 2010 and 2.7% in 2011.
Most of the acquittals (as regards 7,100 persons) were pronounced by justices of peace hearing misdemeanors. District courts, which hear the bulk of criminal cases, acquitted or dropped charges against 1,900 people (517,000 were convicted).Most of the acquittals (as regards 7,100 persons) were pronounced by justices of peace hearing misdemeanors
Regional courts, which hear felonies subject up to life in prison, acquitted 215 persons and dropped 31 cases for rehabilitating circumstances, the report said.
The number of charges dropped for rehabilitating circumstances - the absence of elements of a crime or the non-involvement of a defendant in the crime – grew most, by 3% from 2007 to 2011 and by 1.5% from 2010 to 2011. Charges were dropped against 2,700 defendants in 2007, 28,200 defendants in 2010 and 28,600 defendants in 2011.
Most of the persons acquitted by district courts were charged with fraud (18.6% or 271 persons) and abuse of office (15% or 219 persons).
There was one acquitted person per five defendants in jury trials. The juries called guilty 1,046 persons in 2011 and 1,157 in 2010, and 182 were acquitted in 2011 (228 in 2010).