Jeremy Putley directs our attention to the following item from the virtual pages of OpenDemocracy’s Polit.ru website:
The raid by on Memorial’s offices in St Petersburg in December 2008 has far wider ramifications for Russia’s identity and history. What action have the courts taken? And what was the real purpose of the raid?
From a judicial point of view, the first move was extremely encouraging. For on January 20th, In the Dzerzhinsky Court in St Petersburg Judge Andrei Shibakov ruled that the search was illegal. Following the complaint filed by Memorial, the police officers of Petersburg’s Central District were forced to justify their action in court. Memorial demonstrated that the law enforcement and security authorities were powerless before an independent court. Many observers thought that this was the end of the affair.
But on the very next day, the Senior Assistant to the Petersburg Central District’s Prosecutor Vladimir Vasyukov launched an appeal, which meant that Shibakov’s verdict did not enter into force. The Memorial case will come before the St Petersburg City Court again on February 24. In the meantime, the confiscated electronic archives, hard disks and other material on Soviet history that Memorial has collected over the last 20 years have not been returned.