Moscow: +7 495 234 4959 Saint Petersburg: +7 812 740 5823 London: +44 (0)20 7337 2600

Aleksey Dobrynin’s commentary on Moscow City Court’s ruling in Prokazov family case

Moscow City Court declined the Prosecution’s claim to annul the parental rights of Olga and Dmitry Prokazov. According to the Prosecution, the parents took a child to an unauthorized rally on July 27, Open Media correspondent reports from the courtroom. The prosecution tried to prove that Prokazovs subjected their infant to danger by coming with him to the unauthorized rally of July 27. The family denied the charges claiming that they stayed away from the protesters and did not take part in the rally.

At the same time Moscow City Court kept in force the warning to parents issued by the first instance. It refers to the fact that during the rally the parents handed their one-year-old to a third person, namely Sergey Fomin, who Prokazovs consider to be their close friend. According to the Prosecution, by doing so they exposed their child’s life and health to danger. Fomin himself is a volunteer of Lyubov Sobol’s campaign headquarters and is now on house arrest under a mass disturbances case.

Prokazov family and their lawyers disagree with the warning, which is why they intend to appeal the decision of the court of appeal, the parents’ lawyer Aleksey Dobrynin told Open Media.

‘Now the state represented by Perovsky District Prosecutor is trying to deliver to all parents, primarily to Prokazovz, the message, that they can only walk where Mr. Prosecutor deems it permissible. And only accompanied by those friends who are approved by the Prosecutor,’ the lawyer told us.

Otherwise, he added, the family will face annulment of parental rights or a warning. ‘But that is a terrible misjudgement. The Prosecutor confused free city streets with prison walls,’ Mr. Dobrynin says.

The court of first instance refused to take the baby away in early September, but the Prosecution appealed the ruling. While the appeal was being processed the Investigative Committee dropped the investigation of the criminal case against Prokazov spouses. They had been suspected of leaving their child in danger and neglecting their parental responsibilities.

Denis Pinchuk