MOSCOW, June 1 (Itar-Tass World Service)
The former local deputy form the United Russia faction was fined 150,000 roubles for concealing the information about the massacre in the settlement Kushchevskaya in the Krasnodar Territory, but as the criminal case was tried in the special way, he could not be sentenced to more than two thirds of the term in prison or 16 months of imprisonment under the verdict, chairman of the interregional human rights association AGORA Pavel Chikov said. “If someone still has some doubts that the verdict is unbiased, he should ask the detectives about it,” he noted.
Retired police general Vladimir Ovchinsky, who was in charge of the struggle against organized crime, believes that the detectives forgot to charge the suspect with the participation in the gang, “A fine of 150,000 roubles is just a mockery on common sense. Many initial reports were made that Tsepovyaz was an active member of the organized criminal group led by Tsapok and his unwillingness to report about a contemplated crime resulted in grave consequences, as 12 people, including children, were killed,” the expert believes.
After the verdict to Tsepovyaz the chairperson of the human rights movement Soprotivleniye (Resistance) and a member of the Public Chamber Olga Kostina sent an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin with the request to assist in the approval of the bill on injured parties in the crimes.
The human rights activist urged Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachev to resign, as the latter pledged to do it in 2010, when the Kushchevskaya massacre was reported.
The Novaya Gazeta daily also recalled about Tkachev’s pledge to resign. The newspaper reported that the court verdict against Sergei Tsepovyaz raised many responses in the Internet. “For the participation in the rally they will fine us 300,000 roubles, but for the involvement in the massacre the fine will be twice lower,” the users of a Cuban internet forum noted.
The bloggers recalled about Tkachev’s comments on the Kushchevskaya gang, “If they escape punishment, I will step down.”
The Novye Izvestia daily believes that a fine of 150,000 roubles under the article for “abetting at crimes” is particularly demonstrative amid the United Russia amendments, which were recently moved in the State Duma.
For violations of the law on massive street actions the lawmakers want to fine their organizers and participants for up to 1.5 million roubles, the newspaper recalled. If this initiative had been approved in the State Duma, one could have made a conclusion that the punishment for abetting at a massive murder in Russia is ten times cheaper than the violation of the rally rules, the newspaper reported.
The newspaper also reported that Sergei Tsepovyaz waited for a court verdict at home, because the court released him from the detention centre, putting him on recognizance not to leave the city. Meanwhile, members of the Pussy Riot punk band, young mothers, who are accused of hooliganism for a punk prayer at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, are waiting for a verdict, being under arrest already for several months, the newspaper reported.