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"VIP crash" case returned to prosecutors

January 09, 2013, 15:44 UTC+3
In his petition, the prosecutor noted irregularities in the case that prevented case review on the merits and the passing of guilty verdict
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MOSCOW, January 9 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow's Gagarinsky court on Wednesday returned to prosecutors the case against doctor Olga Alexandrina, killed in a car crash and found guilty of causing it.

Judge Olga Zeldina met the petition by the prosecutor for the state, which Alexandrina's side supported. In his petition, the prosecutor noted irregularities in the case that prevented case review on the merits and the passing of guilty verdict.

Olga Alexandrina's side supported the prosecutors' position reminding about a similar petition. "The issue hinges on amendments to legislation; we're hoping these amendments will be approved and the court will return to the hearings in the vein of legitimacy and law and order," lawyer Lyudmila Aivar said.

She explained that the criminal case had been referred to court without indictment which is essential in case review. "Instead of the indictment, the case has the investigator’s resolution on sending it to court; it is the investigator’s invention, caused by a lack of legislative basis which we stated during the proceedings," Aivar said.

For his part, the representative of the LUKOIL company, which is the injured party in the case, lawyer Garri Mirzoyan objected to returning the case to prosecutors. According to his position, the case was taken for consideration and had enough materials for consideration. However, after the court announced its decision, Mirzoyan said he would not appeal.

"I'm for the law; the most important thing for me is to have the case considered on the merits, and what can be more fitting to this task than the indictment materials drawn impeccably?" the LUKOIL representative said.

It took Judge Zeldina about an hour to analyze the parties' positions whereupon she read the resolution to return the case to prosecutors for correcting the faults in the case materials in accordance with the legislation due to become effective shortly.

Alexandrina's representatives supported the decision but regretted the case being handed over to the court without proper preparation.

"We've been foot-dragging at the investigation stage and were doing our best to resist the handover of the case to court before approval of the amendments to the criminal-procedural code, and now it has turned out that we were doing the right thing," lawyer Igor Trunov said.

Earlier on Wednesday, he said the amendments had already been sent to the State Duma and that the house could review them later this month.

The road accident in Leninsky Prospekt, which the mass media called "VIP Crash", occurred on February 25, 2010. The Citroen driven by Moscow region resident Olga Alexandrina collided with a Mercedes S-500 carrying LUKOIL vice president Anatoly Barkov. Barkov was hospitalized.

The Citroen's driver and her passenger - Prof. Vera Sidelnikova - were killed in the crash. They worked in the Kulakov obstetrics research centre. They were driving to work, when the road accident occurred. The Investigative Committee later closed the probe saying Alexandrina had caused the crash. The probe was dropped due to the death of the injured partly.

Earlier, the Constitutional Court met the action by Alexandrina's family. It said the norms of the criminal procedure code that allow for dropping criminal prosecution in connection with the suspect's death without the consent of her close relatives insisting on rehabilitation of the diseased person did not conform to the Constitution. The court ordered the relevant amendments to the criminal procedure code.





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