On December 17 and 18 the Shali City Court continued proceedings on the case against the director of Memorial’s Grozny office, Oyub Titiyev.
The judge is Madina Zainetdinova. Pyotr Zaikin and Marina Dubrovina served on the defense team for Titiyev. The prosecution was represented by Kurchaloevsky district prosecutor Dzhabrail Akhmatov and Milana Baitayeva.
Recall that the head of the Grozny office of the Memorial Human Rights Center, Oyub Titiyev, was detained on January 9, 2018 in Chechnya, allegedly due to the fact that the police discovered a bag of cannabis in his car. A criminal case was opened against Titiyev under Part 2 of Art. 228 of the Criminal Code. Titiyev denies the allegations against him. Memorial claims that the criminal case against him has been falsified. Obyub is recognized as a political prisoner.
Baitayeva read out a series of requests from Investigator Nurida Salamova regarding street video recordings. There were many cameras between where Oyub is detained and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation in the Kurchaloevsky district as well as inside the courthouse, on the Russian Agricultural Bank, the Administration of the Kurchaloevsky district, the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, the Prosecutor’s Office, the House of Culture, Sberbank (a large Russian bank), Chechenenergo and the Department of Labor and Social Protection. Officially, on January 9, the day of Titiyev’s arrest, these cameras were experiencing technical difficulties and so, recordings were either not taken or not saved. The only operational cameras were those of the Federal Security Service for the Chechen Republic; however, they were supposedly only «set up for video monitoring of the fenced perimeter " and therefore, «did not capture nearby objects.»
During the hearing, the results of the experiment conducted by the prosecution were read out. The experiment demonstrated that officer Alikhan Garayev could have seen the substance scattered on the rug of Oyub’s car from where he was standing at the time that Titiyev was pulled over on January 9. Defense lawyer Zaikin objected, saying that the circumstances of Oyub Titiyev’s detention were not recreated exactly in the experiment. Garayev is a head taller than the man who stood in his place during the experiment. Likewise, cilantro was used to represent the cannabis despite the fact that cilantro is much larger than the substance the police claimed to have found in Titiyev’s car. Additionally, at the time that Titiyev was pulled over, there were covers on the car seats which concealed the area under the seats, whereas during the experiment the investigators used tightly fitted leather covers. Prosecutor Akhmatov noted that the experiment participants had no objections to the how it was conducted. The defense lawyers objected that they did not participate in the experiment.