JULY 2nd, 2020 - TRIAL DAY 2
The Trial Continues after 3.5 Month Delay Due to the Pandemic
Trevor’s trial finally continued after almost 4 months of delays. The police officers’ questioning continued along with a couple of other police employees. The questioning was very similar to the detailed questioning done on March 11th. The defense attorneys asked questions of the witnesses and “victims” for approximately 3 to 3-1/2 hours. During that same period of time, the prosecutor asked questions for probably 10-15 minutes at most. Without going into pages of details, there were numerous inconsistencies and irregularities in the testimonies as there was on March 11th.
Inside the court, the police officers are referred to as “victims” because they have made claims of “moral and physical” damages against Trevor. One officer claims he had a small bruise on his abdomen from Trevor. The driver never claimed any injuries except that his jacket was torn. It is our understanding that within Russian law, if a person claims injuries, it makes the charges more serious. It also gives the police officers a means of legally collecting money from the defendant and making their arrest more severe at the same time. Both police officers had requested 150,000 rubles in reconciliation payments. (About $2100 at today’s exchange rate). You can see how this law gives the police dramatic power over any person accused, innocent or guilty.
There was supposed to be a separate administrative court hearing after the criminal trial hearing regarding the charges against Trevor for not being properly registered while living at Lina’s apartment. However, we were informed after lunch that the judge in that case had dismissed the charges apparently for insufficient evidence. In that case there were many questions regarding when Trevor was charged with the offense, questions regarding an interpreter not being present when he was shown the documents regarding the offense, and more questions regarding the signatures and whether they were actually his on all the documents.
I should mention, that the first appeal Trevor requested a month after his arrest was to have bail or house arrest and the judge in that court granted bail. That judge’s decision was then appealed to the highest appeal court in Moscow (panel of several judges). The prosecution claimed that Trevor was a flight risk because he had not been properly registered and the judge that granted the bail forgot to place a payment deadline date on the order. (The bail payment was made within 24 business hours, 72 business hours is the normal payment period allowed). The Supreme Court ruled that bail could not be denied based on improper registration, but when the case finally returned to the Moscow City Court, this same argument was used by the prosecutor who spoke for less than two minutes before the judge ruled against bail. So, now the administrative case regarding Trevor’s improper registration that has been used to deny him bail for the past 10 months has now been dismissed by the courts! I want to also mention, that the case can be re-filed after an investigator searches for more evidence. We hope this will not be the case.