The Russian Supreme Court Presidium has declined to revisit the first criminal case against former Yukos security chief Alexei Pichugin sentenced to 20 years in prison for orchestrating attacks and murders.
The court made the decision despite the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)'s opinion that the principle of fair trial was breached in the hearing of the Pichugin case, an Interfax correspondent reports.
Therefore, the criminal case against the former Yukos security chief will not be referred to a low-tier court for new consideration as requested by the convict's defense. "To uphold the sentence passed by the Moscow City Court," the presidium ruled.
Pichugin was sentenced to 20 years during his first trial and life in prison during the second trial. He is serving his sentence in a high-security facility.
"In my opinion, today's decision fails to carry out the ECHR ruling. Strasbourg presumed that the principle of a fair trial had been violated and a revision of this case was the only possible way to correct that violation," Pichugin's lawyer Ksenia Kostromina told Interfax.
She said they would consider lodging a complaint about Russia with the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers.
The ECHR acknowledged its ruling as final and turned down the Russian request for its revision at the Grand Chamber on March 19.
The court recognized the Pichugin trial as unfair on October 23, 2012, and ordered Russian authorities to pay about 9,500 euro in compensation for the moral injury sustained by Pichugin.
Pichugin was taken into custody in 2003 on suspicion of a murder and several assaults. The Moscow City Court held a trial by jury and found Pichugin guilty of the murder of the Gorin couple, the attack on Olga Kostina, former Moscow public relations department head and former advisor to Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and the assault of former Rosprom administrative department head Viktor Kolesov.
Pichugin was sentenced to 20 years in a high-security prison. The Supreme Court upheld the sentence.
Another criminal case was opened against Pichugin some time later. The Moscow City Court sentenced him in 2006 to 24 years in a high-security prison for organizing the murders of Fenix trade company head Valentina Korneyeva and Nefteyugansk Mayor Vladimir Petukhov in 1998.
Prosecutors appealed the sentence at the Russian Supreme Court, which overruled the sentence and ordered a revision of the case.
The Moscow City Court sentenced Pichugin in 2007 to life in a high-security facility.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.