Editor’s Note. In the light of the massive violations and “irregularities” alleged to have been committed in last Sunday’s parliamentary elections, you would think that prosecutors, police investigators, and the courts would have better ways to spend their time than chasing a pregnant woman with a small child, but no — they really have nothing better to do.
07 Dec 2011, 20:42
December 7th, 2011 — St. Petersburg’s Dzerzhinsky District Court decided today to issue an arrest warrant for Voina member Natalia Sokol (Kozlenok). Natalia, who is in her 8th month of pregnancy, has been charged with insulting and using violence against police officers (articles 319 and 318 of the Criminal Code). The charges were first revealed to the defense during a court hearing yesterday. Natalia has been on the federal wanted list since November, and she was placed on the international wanted list last Monday.
Natalia’s attorney Dmitri Dinze has expressed his indignation, saying Natalia’s right to a legal defense was blatantly violated by the Investigation Committee’s failure to inform her of the charges brought against her. He also denied investigator Rud’s claims that Natalia had missed her appointments with the investigator on multiple occasions.
“We have not been notified about any appointments,” Dinze said earlier. “It is claimed that Sokol has contacted the investigator by phone, and there’s now what’s presumed to be her cell phone number on record in the case file. This is despite the fact she never uses cell phones.”
At today’s hearing, attorney Dinze pleaded again for adjournment, citing Natalia’s poor health. Moreover, Natalia had personally contacted Judge Brazhnikova earlier today to explain her inability to attend the hearing. However, Judge Brazhnikova sided with the investigators, ruling to arrest Natalia in absentia.
Attorney Dinze, who calls today’s decision “unlawful” and “baseless,” plans to appeal the ruling.