Mikhail Benyash with his advocate Felix Vertigel. Photo by Anna Gritsevich for the Caucasian Knot

27 March 2019, 11:56

Mikhail Benyash's defence catches Krasnodar officials on false testimonies

At trial, two officials from the district administrations of Krasnodar reported how participants in the protest action against the pension reform were detained and how Mikhail Benyash was brought to the UVD (Interior Department). Witnesses were physically unable to observe both events, since they had occurred in different places at the same time, the defence noted.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that advocate Mikhail Benyash was detained on September 9 in Krasnodar along with participants of a rally against the pension reform. According to Mr Benyash, he was beaten up after detention. He served 14 days of arrest appointed to him for disobeying the police.

Mikhail Benyash was accused of using violence against a policeman. Razmik Simonyan, a coordinator of the Navalny's office in Krasnodar, associated the persecution of Mikhail Benyash with the legal support he provided to the opposition.

On March 26, the Leninsky District Court of Krasnodar continued to question witnesses for the prosecution in the Mikhail Benyash's case.

Dmitry Bolbat, a PR specialist from the Western District Administration of Krasnodar, reported that on September 9, he was in the centre of Krasnodar, where an unsanctioned rally against the pension reform took place. According to the official, his official duties include monitoring of unsanctioned actions.

The police warned the protestors that the action was not sanctioned by the authorities, and people began to leave the place. About 50 people refused to obey to the police request, and they were detained and taken to the UVD in Krasnodar. "Since I witnessed their disobedience, I went with them," explained Dmitry Bolbat.

According to the official, in the yard of the UVD, he saw how Mikhail Benyash had been brought there. "The young man himself got out of a vehicle and went to the UVD," Dmitry Bolbat said. And he continued: "Then he struggled to free his hands and tried to escape, but law enforcers tied him up and laid him on the asphalt. When he was lying on the asphalt, he was handcuffed behind his back and he hit his head about asphalt several times," said the witness.

A similar testimony was given by Maxim Borisov, a specialist at the General Security Department of the Central District Administration.

An advocate of Mikhail Benyash noted that the officials could not observe the detentions of the activists and the delivery of his client to the UVD, since the events happened at the same time in different places: in the square near the "Aurora" cinema, where the activists started their procession against raising the retirement age, and at the UVD, to where Mikhail Benyash was brought at the same time.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 27, 2019 at 03:14 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Anna Gritsevich Source: CK correspondent

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