RBC journalist Alexander Sokolov will impose a new charge

The investigative Committee Alexander Sokolov in the Khamovniki court. 15 Jun 2016

That the Prosecutor’s office for the Central administrative district (TSAO) of Moscow have found a defect in the materials of the criminal case against the journalist Alexander Sokolov, RBC was told by the lawyer of the journalist Olga Dinze.

“The fact that the Prosecutor made such a representation, we learned from investigators yesterday, explained Dinze. We were scheduled to participate in the hearing on the issue of restrictions on familiarization with the materials of the criminal case, but the meeting eventually took place, and the investigators we have a report issued by the Prosecutor’s office view.

Dinze said that the prosecution indicated to the investigators for lack of qualification of the case and the materials collected. Now, according to the Criminal procedure code (CPC), the investigators will have to bridge the gaps in the evidence base and produce a new charge Sokolov. In either case, there will be another article of the Criminal code (CC), or remain the same, but with different arguments and new evidence, said Dinze.

The head a press-services of Prosecutor’s office of Moscow Elena Rossokhina refused to comment on the Prosecutor’s representation to the investigators, referring to article 161 of the code of criminal procedure (inadmissibility of disclosure of data of preliminary investigation). RBC sent a request to the press service of the TFR, at the time of publication of the material response to the editor was received.

Sokolov was arrested on 29 July last year. For a year he is in prison on charges of organization of activity of extremist structures. The same charges brought against the former editor of the newspaper “Duel” Yury Mukhin and his colleagues Valery Parfenov and Cyril Barabash. They were charged under article 282.2 of the criminal code (organization of an extremist organization). Now Sokolov accused charged with the fact that he registered the website of the group for the referendum “For the responsible authority” that the investigators considered a continuation of other movements previously recognised by the court as extremist organization. Sokolov denies any wrongdoing and insists that he is being persecuted including for professional services.

The prosecution Sokolova criticized by Russian and international human rights activists. November 3, 2015 the human rights centre “memorial” recognized Sokolov and arrested along with him Mukhina and Parfenov political prisoners, demanding to stop their criminal prosecution. Commissioners for human rights Tatyana Moskalkova in June this year sent to the Prosecutor General requesting to verify the lawfulness and legality of the decisions taken in the case of Sokolov.

On 1 August, “reporters without borders” has urged the Russian authorities to immediately release the journalist-investigator for freedom. His last major investigation was devoted to the embezzlement and theft, committed during the construction of the Vostochny space centre, recalled, “reporters without borders”. Sokolov discovered the facts, as suggested by human rights activists, later confirmed the audit chamber, as in December 2015, she stated revealed “financial irregularities” related to this project, for an amount close to the one called journalist 93 billion.