We habitually speak a lot about lawlessness which is established in Russia, we grievously swing our heads and make helpless gestures. Each of us heard about "Basmanny justice", some personally faced police arbitrariness but very few people understand what extent of degeneration has been reached by all law-enforcement system of the Russian Federation.
Even experts acquainted with investigative and juridical practice often experience the deepest shock seeing extreme lawlessness which became norm in the case of Daniel Konstantinov.
I will shortly remind a plot: a young civil activist and oppositional politician was arrested on March, 22, 2012 on charge of unmotivated murder of the stranger allegedly committed by him.
Evidences of the unique witness of the crime – some Sofronov A. A. - became the basis for the arrest. That witness identified Daniel, apparently, under pressure of field investigators as originally, without delay, he said that he didn’t see the murderer.
Before arrest Konstantinov declared that his prosecution is politically motivated and that he had already received threats from notorious "Center "E" (Head department on counteraction to extremism of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation).
The most important thing is that Daniel has ironclad alibi as at the time of commission of the crime he celebrated birthday of his mother in a big company in the other end of Moscow. Five witnesses confirmed Daniel's alibi and passed inspection on polygraph which certified truthfulness of their evidences.
After that took place more than a year, but Daniel Konstantinov still in prison.
Well, there’s evidence of one witness against evidences of five witnesses at total absence of any material proofs, nevertheless it is enough for the consequence to insist on charge.
Perhaps, mister Sofronov A.A. is positive and authoritative figure to such an extend that nobody dared to put his words under doubts?
A year passed after it, but Daniel Konstantinov is still in prison.
It’s high time to talk about identity of the only witness of the charge. (It’s interesting that in half of the documents of already finished criminal case he is registered as Sofronov, in the other half - Safronov).
The fact that this mister being a child was registered in the local police station doesn't mean anything – it could happen with everyone.
We won’t start making hasty conclusions also from the fact that mister Sofronov hasn’t graduated from high school, has no specialty and constant place of work.
Though the fact that he, despite youth (1991), managed to suffer three (!) convictions would have to make our "impartial" investigator uneasy. As well as his obvious tendency to lie: in first protocols of interrogations Sofronov specified that he wasn't tried and only later, after incontestable proofs of the return appeared he was compelled to admit.
It’s also curious that investigation didn’t manage to get information about Sofnonov’s convictions, it was obtained by the lawyers with considerable effort.
Let's forgot about first criminal record (2005), in view of tender age of the defendant and prescription of events.
While for the second and third time mister Sofronov appeared in court under very intriguing circumstances.
In March, 2012 he "identified" Daniel Konstantinov, gave evidences which were completely contradicting to what he said without delay, then he asked for state protection, allegedly, "being afraid of Konstantinov's revenge".
He received state protection and left form Moscow to the native Nizhny Novgorod, where (as the court subsequently found out) he got engaged in burglaries on preliminary arrangement being a member of a group of persons.
We don’t know for sure how much he did, he admitted only six episodes.
In July, 2012 the local court sentenced Sofronov to three and a half years conditionally. As it is told in a sentence: "taking into account circumstances characterizing a person". As there are no positive characteristics of Sofronov in the case, it is reasonable to assume that false evidences given by him on Konstantinov became unique "circumstance".
You think that our "hero" stopped? Nothing of the kind. New sensation. While Daniel was in prison and the only "witness" was madly protected, he again committed crime! Under protection! New series of thefts.
In three months the same court again judged a series of burglaries made by a group of persons on preliminary arrangement. Whether it is necessary to mention who headed this group?
Again in spite of the fact that the test period determined to him hasn’t come to its end Sofronov got suspended sentence "taking into account circumstances characterizing a person”. However, this time he got smaller one – two and a half years. Probably, "circumstances" became even more powerful.
What did protection allocated to Sofronov do at this time?
It chased lawyers, intimidated and blackmailed them. Here you are fresh episode.
Few days ago one of our lawyers (Evgeny Gubin) went to gather information to the native land of Sofronov, it’s authorized by the law about lawyer activity in the Russian Federation. In a couple of days employees of the company “Centre E” in Nizhny Novgorod came to his office and carried out "intensive" interview with him.
I will cite small extract from the letter of the lawyer (with stylistics preservation):
"On Wednesday two field investigators from “Center "E" came to my office. Showed cards - whole lieutenant colonel (Golubev Y.A.). Started asking questions. Questions were approximately the following: “We know that you concluded agreement with Konstantinov and now carry out his instructions, why did you go to XXX? I said, guys, some person signed the agreement with me, I would be happy to let you know who and what agreement, but the Law doesn't allow me to do it. They aren't appeased and ask why I went and what I looked for? I tell them again - I acted within the frames of the agreement and our Law. They aren't appeased again: why did you ask where XXX is and where Sofronov? I say that I didn’t go to Sofronov, I didn’t meet him and hadn’t ever set eyes on him in general. They aren’t appeased all over again. They talk politely but with pressing. However, as all field investigators. They asked one and the same question for hundred times - why did I go and on what basis did I poke my nose into other people's affairs, why did I ask where Sofronov and XXX are (the chief of the inspection reported to the quarter). I answer the same way for the 100-th time. Then I can’t maintain it any longer and say: why did you come and what do you want? They openly tell me that I shouldn’t poke in other people business and that I would have problems. If You know what this business is and what forces are engaged in it? If I would interfere, they will start writing about me. That Sofronov is under state protection and if he will be killed, I will be accomplice."
To clarify: by the current legislation the lawyer is obliged to observe interests of the client and to keep his secret, he shouldn’t give any explanations to field investigators. Statements that the lawyer "will have problems" and that he "will be accomplice" are open threats and are subjected to criminal punishment.
Unfortunately, the lawyer has no witnesses of this conversation and being decent person he didn't register it. While he gave consent to publication of this text.
Having learned about those events, other lawyer – Dmitry Dinze – perceived those threats very seriously and immediately submitted application to Investigative committee asking for state protection for him and witnesses who confirmed Daniel Konstantinov’s alibi. The answer to this statement hasn’t arrived yet.
Dinze is seriously afraid for our safety and considers that field investigators of "Center "E" can go on any provocations.
The most interesting question is what "forces" are "engaged" here and why the witness on banal criminal case is supervised by field investigators of "Center "E"? Moreover thus he managed to commit 2 crimes!
In any case it’s clear that investigation didn't manage to hide political motivation of criminal prosecution of Daniel and methods of work of employees of “Centre E" differ from actions of organized criminal communities just a little.