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Opinion on the extradition of a Russian prosecutor

The Circuit Court in Nowy Sącz allowed Russia’s request for expulsion of Alexander Ignatenko, former first deputy prosecutor of the Moscow region. Mr Ignatenko was arrested by the Polish Internal Security Agency at the beginning of 2012.  The HFHR has presented an opinion in the case.

According to the Foundation, there is a reasonable concern that Mr Ignatenko’s extradition to Russian Federation may result in a violation of his rights and freedoms, including the right to a fair trial.

The opinion quotes the UN Special Rapporteur’s report on the independence of judges and lawyers. According to the report, despite the constitutional guarantees of judicial independence, Russian officials themselves acknowledge that the practice of ‘telephone justice’ or ‘justice for money’ persists in the country.

The Foundation also refers to a report by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in which the Committee expressed its concern over recurring and well-evidenced accounts of the application of torture and other forms of inhumane treatment in Russia. Moreover, Amnesty International notes that the widespread use of torture was reported in Russia in 2010. In many cases, state officials were said to have ill-treated detainees to extract confessions. Corruption and a conspiracy of silence among militia officers, investigators and prosecutors are seen as an obstacle to effectively investigate these illegal practices and hold the perpetrators responsible.

‘In connection with the above, it is the HFHR’s opinion that these facts are a basis for a ruling of the inadmissibility of expulsion within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure’, reads the opinion.

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