Pustovalov v Russian Federation, UN Human Rights Committee (2003) (excerpts)

Pustovalov v Russian Federation, UN Human Rights Committee Communication 1232/2003 (excerpts)

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6.4 The author submits that the decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Court acknowledged his claim that at the beginning of the trial, he had requested to change his lawyer, but that his request was denied as unjustified. He argues that he requested this change as his lawyer had asked for a retainer his family could not afford. The author claims that the decision also acknowledged that he was not provided with a lawyer during the identification parade, but it stated that he had not asked for one. He notes that, in fact, he had asked for a lawyer throughout the process, ever since his arrest. No lawyer was present during the initial medical test on his ability to have sexual relations. His complaints to the office of the President were forwarded to the General Prosecutor’s office, which merely returned a standard letter. He notes that during the trial, he was asked to leave the court room during the testimony of one of the victims. When he returned, he was not informed about the content of the testimony and he was not able to question the victim.

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8.4 The Committee notes the author’s claim that he was not allowed to have his lawyer present during the identification process and that the trial court denied his request to change his lawyer as well as his requests to invite additional experts and witnesses. The Committee also notes that the State party merely stated that the author’s claims concerning procedural violations and violation of his right to fair trial are groundless and did not provide any arguments refuting these allegations. In these circumstances the Committee concludes that the author’s allegations must be given due weight and that the author’s rights under article 14, paragraph 3 (b, d and e), were violated.