Askhabali Alibekov. Screenshot of the video posted on the "Wild Paratrooper" YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgXra9fVrsI

13 March 2023, 15:16

Defence treats decision in blogger Alibekov's case as consequence of his refusal to testify

A court in Novorossiysk has denied Askhabali Alibekov's request to consider his case under special procedure that provides for punishment mitigation. His advocate believes that this was because the blogger's refusal to testify. Such cases are rare, said Alexander Verkhovsky, the director of the "Sova"* Information and Analytical Centre.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that earlier in January, the court refused to consider the Alibekov's case under a special procedure that provides for an admission of guilt and abandonment of the investigation in exchange for a milder punishment. The court considered that Alibekov was insincerely remorseful. He complained that he was not allowed to communicate with other arrested persons and was not provided with medical care. According to Patimat, Alibekov's wife, Askhabali petitioned for the special procedure "in order to receive at least a minimum sentence."

The blogger is accused of discrediting the Russian Army. On September 29, 2022, the freedom restriction measure for the 51-year-old Alibekov was changed from the recognizance not to leave for placement in custody.

"He refused to testify at the preliminary investigation by taking Article 51 of the Constitution [on the right not to testify against oneself]. Therefore, the prosecutors objected to his request – when a person refuses to testify at the preliminary investigation, no special procedure is applied. Besides, he admitted the very fact of creating video recordings, but refused to plead guilty," his advocate, Marina Dubrovina, has explained.

According to investigators, the blogger had posted video containing information discrediting the Russian Army in his video hosting channel. Earlier, he was brought to administrative responsibility for a similar post.

Askhabali Alibekov complained about insufficient medical care due to his gastritis and toothache, his wife, Patimat Alibekova, has stated. After Askhabali's detention, the family's financial situation has worsened, she has added.

Let us remind you that on November 2, 2022, the human rights project "Memorial Support for Political Prisoners" recognized Alibekov as a political prisoner.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 11, 2023 at 06:13 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Alexander Stepanov Source: СK correspondent

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