06MOSCOW1088, RCFS DIRECTOR CONVICTED, PUT ON PROBATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1088 2006-02-03 13:40 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5415
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1088 0341340
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 031340Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0250
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 4665

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001088 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/03/2016 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL PREF RS
SUBJECT: RCFS DIRECTOR CONVICTED, PUT ON PROBATION 
 
REF: MOSCOW 857 AND PREVIOUS 
 
Classified By: A/POL Bruce Donahue.  Reasons 1.4 (b and d). 
 
 1.  (SBU) A Russian court on February 3 convicted 
Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS) Executive Director 
Stanislav Dmitriyevskiy of inciting national hatred, as had 
been widely expected.  The Nizhniy Novgorod court gave 
Dmitriyevskiy a two-year suspended sentence and placed him on 
probation four years.  Prosecutors had asked for a four-year 
prison sentence. 
 
2.  (SBU)  Dmitriyevskiy's lawyers said they would file an 
immediate appeal to have the conviction overturned and 
promised to take the case to the European Court of Human 
Rights if necessary.  Prosecutors said they considered the 
sentence too light and hinted they may appeal as well. 
Prosecutors had charged Dmitriyevskiy over the publication of 
separate statements by Chechen separatists Aslan Maskhadov 
and Akhmed Zakayev in the group's newspaper in 2004. 
 
3.  (C) Oksana Chelysheva of RCFS told us that although 
Dmitriyevskiy was spared prison, RCFS' existence is still in 
doubt.  Under the new NGO legislation, which takes effect in 
April, Dmitriyevskiy will be prohibited from being a founder 
or participant in an NGO because he is now a convicted 
"extremist."  By placing Dmitriyevskiy on probation, she 
said, the government retains the threat of prison to keep him 
quiet.  Additionally, Dmitriyevskiy most likely will be 
charged with tax evasion as part of the tax inspectorate's 
claim that the NGO owes back taxes on the grants it has 
received from the National Endowment for Democracy, the 
European Union, and the Norwegian Government (reftel). 
Chelysheva, who is currently in Vienna, said that it was 
clear that the trial was intended by the GOR to send a 
message to the broader NGO community. 
 
4.  (C) Separately, in the Supreme Court of Ingushetiya, 
judges did not rule in the suit prosecutors have brought 
against International Medical Corps over its permission to 
work in the republic.  The court will hear further arguments 
on February 20.  IMC Acting Country Director Lia Tavadze told 
us that based on the judge's comments, it was clear that IMC 
is properly registered and accredited.  Tavadze said that she 
is convinced that the prosecutors' action has been brought in 
part as retaliation by former IMC employee Acet Batalova, who 
has relatives in the Ingush Government.  Batalova won a 
judgment against IMC in a separate suit, but IMC has appealed 
and may have the judgment struck down. Tavadze said that as 
court adjourned February 3, the prosecutor openly told IMC's 
lawyer that its legal troubles would continue until it 
settled with Batalova. 
 
5.  (C) COMMENT:  Neither of these cases has been brought 
under the new NGO legislation, but they demonstrate legal 
difficulties NGOs often face in Russia when they run afoul of 
the government or well-connected individuals.  Although 
Dmitriyevskiy's conviction occurred before the NGO law enters 
into force, the restrictions that it will impose on him -- a 
ban on future work with RCFS -- may make him its first 
casualty. 
BURNS

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