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Mediation and termination of criminal prosecutions

Ongoing legal support was offered to a major energy holding company as part of pre-investigative inspections and the investigation of criminal cases initiated in connection with insolvency. This was caused by the unforeseeable termination of finance and the withdrawal of further investment by the principal customer.

At this stage the defence successfully terminated the criminal cases which had been instigated against the client on suspicion of failing to disclose the funds of an organisation from which taxes were recoverable.  

Under current practice, cases of this kind are terminated only if the damage incurred is fully compensated, with funds transferred to the treasury equal to five times the value of the damage caused.

However, the defence’s strategy, i.e. timely collation and consolidation of evidence during the investigation by the legal team meant that the criminal case was dropped after an amicable settlement between the parties with compensation in the amount only of the arrears, without applying the additional five-fold sanction. The legality and justification of the decision was corroborated by the conclusion of the St. Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office.

Mediation and termination of criminal prosecutions

Thanks to the organisation of a skilful defence, a criminal case was dropped after being brought by the Russian Investigative Committee based on corpus delicti, as stipulated under Part 2, Article 143 of the Russian Criminal Code (violation of occupational health and safety requirements) following the death of an employee at the company in question.

In the course of the investigation led by the legal team, it was possible to prove that twelve of the client’s employees were not involved in the accident. Furthermore, an expert opinion was obtained as a direct result of our advocates employing an industrial safety specialist. This opinion determined that the equipment behind the accident had been subject to natural wear and tear, and that there was no causal relationship between the actions of the company’s employees and the hazardous consequences. The Primorsky District Court of St. Petersburg acquitted the accused.

Release from custody

Following an investigation by our legal team, our lawyers secured during the appeal court hearing bail instead of detention in custody for the chairman of the board of directors of one of the city’s principal employers. The chairman was accused of a number of economic crimes.

Even though the accused refused to plead guilty or give testimony, including testimony that would incriminate other people (upon which the prosecution insisted), the court reviewed the defence’s position and, contrary to the opinion of the Prosecutor’s Office and the investigator, altered the means of restraint.

In 2013, the courts in Russia changed the means of detention from arrest to release on bail in just 0,2% of all cases. Furthermore, an expert opinion was obtained as a direct result of our advocates employing an industrial safety specialist. This opinion ruled that the equipment behind the accident had been subject to natural wear and tear, and that there was no causal relationship between the actions of the company’s employees and the hazardous consequences.

Acquittal of wrongfully accused

We successfully defended the former chief physician of a clinical hospital during the pre-investigative and judicial investigation stage. Our client stood accused by the Main Russian Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for St. Petersburg, under Part 1, Article 286 of the Russian Criminal Code, of abusing his position during an open tender.

The Primorsky District Court of St. Petersburg acquitted the accused. According to statistics, the Russian courts grant acquittals in just 0,7% of all cases investigated.

Acquittal of wrongfully accused

Our lawyers have a portfolio of successful criminal cases under the pro bono project: one such criminal case was against the minor N. Leontiev, accused of robbery (under Article 161 of the Russian Criminal Code). The teenager was detained by police officers under suspicion of robbery. During his questioning at the police station, Leontiev sustained multiple injuries as a result of which lost consciousness and died.

The lawyers represented the teenager’s mother in the preliminary and judicial investigations. N. Leontiev was acquitted of involvement in the crime.

The victim’s lawyers initiated a second criminal case simultaneously, this time against the police officers involved in the detention and unlawful killing of N. Leontiev. The case was instigated under corpus delicti, as stipulated under Part 4, Article 111 of the Russian Criminal Code (malicious, grievous bodily harm leading to the death of the victim through negligence). The case culminated in the sentencing of the police officers to 6,5 and 9 years’ imprisonment, with RUB 2,500,000 paid in damages for moral harm.