The special correspondent of RBC Alexander Sokolov
Photo: Vladislav Shatilo/RBC
The Tver court on November 23 starts the proceedings of the special correspondent of RBC Alexander Sokolov, who is accused of organizing activities of an extremist organization. RBC says that are judged by journalist
In sight of law enforcement bodies”, the Initiative group for the referendum “For the responsible government!” (IGRP “CALL”) got the year before was the first arrest of its members. In June 2014, a law enforcement officer Vlasov (its name changed, personal data, secret) found on the Internet movie with speech activist Kirill Barabash. In the video description he found the link to the website of the organization.
The discovery, according to Vlasov, was of special interest, so he reported it to management, after which he decided to introduce into the ranks of the initiative group. For this was invented the legend: Vlasov reincarnated as a resident of the Crimea named Sergei Davydenko, who made contact with “Call”. In the course of correspondence via email and during conversations on the phone told him that IGC engaged in the creation of initiative groups in half of the country’s regions to hold a referendum and adoption of the law “On the court of the people.”
Vlasov-Davydenko was accepted into the organization. He was assigned to recruit in the Crimea new supporters and spread ideas IGRP. Development continued until the summer of 2015. In his testimony, which is in the materials of the criminal case, Vlasov indicates that the leaders of the organization were Barabash, a former editor of the newspaper “Duel” Yury Mukhin and his colleague Valery Parfenov.
In July, the latter two were arrested, and the widow had been detained on the beach in Sevastopol and right in the trunks were taken to the police. Together with them in the same case, imprisoned by the special correspondent of RBC Alexander Sokolov. Soon Mukhina was placed under house arrest. And in December the court sent to jail Barabash.
All of them, as stated in the indictment, “organized activity of an extremist organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force the decision to ban”. The consequence considers that under the mask IGRP disappeared “the Army will of the people” (AVN), which was recognized as extremist in the fall of 2010.
Activists have formally renamed the initiative group and continued to do the same than before the ban, believe in the TFR: participated in the rallies, protesting against the actions of the police and courts, and collected the contributions, support of Colonel Vladimir Kvachkova, printed, and distributed leaflets and brochures with the words “You chose? You be the judge!” (later, the leaflet was deemed extremist), published a newspaper, first called “a spade”, and after its ban — “Words and deeds”, and posted videos of their performances on stocks in the Internet. In several speeches later, the experts found signs of incitement of hatred to the authorities and law enforcement agencies.
The court of the people
The main requirement of IGRP — a referendum on amendments to the Constitution and the adoption of the law “For a responsible power”. The essence of the proposed changes — the activities of all officials, including the President, should be judged by the people: the poor performance of officials punished, good rewarded.
The adoption of this law Mukhin was struggling without much success since about 1997. The publicist is known for his radical views. For example, he did not recognize the fact of the execution of Polish officers in Katyn by the NKVD, and claimed that the blame for the famine the peasants. Supporters Mukhina differ sometimes eccentric behavior: for example, during one of the meetings of the Moscow city court Parfenov and his lawyer Nikolai Kuryanovich asked to remove from the process of prosecution because they were deemed “a crocodile who can only play on your mobile phone.”
During the interrogation, Mukhin has told that the referendum is necessary to collect 2 million signatures in six weeks, and this requires an initiative group comprising not less than 20 thousand people. However, in the “Call” was only about 100 people, according to the materials of the case.
The ex-editor of newspaper “Duel” noted that “the Army will of the people” was banned not for the organization of the referendum. After the court decision, the organization disbanded, and its members established IGC in strict accordance with the law.
How the “CALL” was going to continue the work of the MSA, the case is not clear: in the five years since the defeat of the Army group did not distributed any extremist material. The conclusion is that IGRP became the successor to the MSA based on the fact that organizations of approximately the same composition. Also the examination was conducted, which concluded that the “Call” and “the Army will of the people” of similar symbols.
The site administrator
The investigators tried to describe the role of each of the defendants in the case to guide IGRP: so, Mukhin had meetings where we discussed how to conduct agitation work, Parfenov engaged in the organizational part, Barabash spoke at meetings. The role of special correspondent of RBC was much more modest, and its description is just a paragraph in the indictment: the falcons registered a website HRP “CALL” and was his administrator.
The journalist believes that criminal prosecution is related to his professional activities. During the interrogation, he said that the operatives who conducted his first search, “was given directly to understand that the motives of these actions is his dissertation research corruption losses of the state” in projects of state corporations Rosnano, rostech, “Olympstroy” and “Rosatom”. The first search took place at a reporter a few days before the Commission meeting, which were to be considered thesis.
A few weeks before his arrest, Sokolov published an investigation on the losses of the state budget in the construction of the cosmodrome “East”. On the same day in his apartment was the second search.
The results of his investigation were transferred to the audit chamber and Federal Antimonopoly service. He also worked on several anti-corruption topics but, once in custody, failed to follow through. Sokolov discovered the facts later confirmed by the audit chamber in December 2015, the Agency stated revealed “financial irregularities” related to this project, for an amount close to the one called journalist — 93 billion.
For Sokolov stood up “reporters without borders”, the Commissioner for human rights Tatyana Moskalkova and her predecessor Ella Pamfilova, the presidential Council on human rights and the human rights center “memorial”, and the journalist filed a complaint to the Strasbourg court.