Zoya Svetova at presentation of her book "Innocent Is Found Guilty". Advocate Victor Parshutkin is on the left. Moscow, Cultural Centre "Pokrovskie Vorota", April 27, 2011. Photo by the "Caucasian Knot"

09 May 2011, 23:10

Author of the book about native of Chechnya convicted for terrorism dedicated it to Anna Politkovskaya

The presentation of the book by Zoya Svetova "Innocent Is Found Guilty" about the scientist Igor Sutyagin, accused of espionage, and the Chechen girl Zara Murtazalieva, convicted for terrorism, was attended by about a hundred persons; half of them were journalists of Russian and foreign mass media. As it turned out later, some visitors could not get into the hall and waited outside hoping to get an autograph from the author of the book. According to Zoya Svetova, she dedicated her book to Anna Politkovskaya.

The presentation held at the Cultural Centre "Pokrovskie Vorota" in Moscow on April 27 was attended by Oleg Orlov, Chairman of the Board of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial"; Friederike Behr, a researcher of the Amnesty International in Russia; Andrei Erofeev, an arts historian; Sergey Pashin, a retired federal judge; Tamara Morschakova, an adviser to the Constitutional Court and an the author of the law on juries; Boris Zolotukhin, a well-known lawyer and the author of the concept of judicial reform; lawyers Karinna Moskalenko and Viktor Parshutkin; and Liudmila Ulitskaya, a well-known writer and the author of the preface to the book.

The book of 223 pages, published by the Publishing House "Vremya", will be distributed on the commercial basis; its first circulation made 1500 copies. Now the book is sold by bookstores in Moscow at a price of 220 roubles. According to Ms Svetova, she hopes that the book will be translated into other languages.

"An articles and a book are two different things. There are things that I can't prove and write in an article. I can imagine how a jury is formed, but I can't write about it in an article - I have no proves. There is only knowledge based on the experience that I accumulated as an observer at litigations," Zoya Svetova told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

According to her story, the main character of her book is a lady - professional judge, whom she called a different name, but her prototype was a real judge, who ran a lot of political trials.

"She tried Sutyagin and Murtazalieva. She's a great professional from the legal point of view; and I'm sure that she knew that these people were not guilty. However, they instruct her to run special political processes. And it was interesting for me to 'get into her skin' and understand why she - knowing in advance and for sure that these people were innocent - still sentenced them to serious terms. I tried to understand the psychology of this person. I wanted to show her as a person who is tormented by her conscience; she sees bad dreams. In spite of being a judge, she's a human," said Svetova.

"Judges in Russia are soldiers of the power. I wanted to show in my book that there is no independent court in this country," said Zoya Svetova.

Lawyer Anna Stavitskaya believes that the book is valuable, since its readers can see through the eyes of a writer, what is happening with the judicial system in Russia. "After such cases as conviction of Sutyagin and Murtazalieva I, being a lawyer, think of quitting the profession, because you can prove nothing. When you see how they use various illegal methods in order to convict your innocent client, while you're helpless, you lose you heart," Anna Stavitskaya, who was present at the presentation of Zoya Svetova's book, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Igor Sutyagin, a researcher of the Institute of the USA and Canada, was arrested by the FSB in 1999; and in 2004 the Russian court sentenced him for spying to 15 years of imprisonment. He was accused of transfer of information constituting state secrets to the British consulting firm "Alternative-Futures". The scientist refused to admit his guilt, arguing that he took all the information from open print sources. In July last year Sutyagin and several other prisoners who were serving their terms in Russia were exchanged for a large group of Russian agents, unmasked in the United States.

On May 3, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ordered Russia to pay 20,000 euros to Igor Sutyagin as compensation of non-pecuniary damage. The communication of the ECtHR states that Russia had violated Mr Sutyagin's right to fair trial and the right to his liberty and safety. The scientist now lives in Great Britain.

The ECtHR has stated that Sutyagin had been awaiting the trial for over 4 years and five months. "If it's true, then we're happy," said Dmitry Sutyagin, Igor's brother, who is quoted by the "Interfax". He noted that the decision about violation of his brother's rights is more important than the compensation of 20,000 euros. "The compensation is secondary; moreover, 20,000 euros for 11 years in prison are not that much money," said Dmitry Sutyagin.

Author: Dmitry Florin; Source: CK correspondent

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