RUSSIAN JUDGES ARE SEEKING JUSTICE IN THE STRASBURG COURT
A big scandal is about to happen in Samara Region. Ex-judge of the Samara Region Arbitration Court Nadezhda Kostuchenko has applied to the European Court of Human Rights with a request to check legitimacy of the award to deprive her of powers.
In March, 2006 the qualification board of judges took decision to terminate powers of the judge ahead of time. Kostuchenko was accused of making illegal awards in connection with complaints of JSC Togliattiazot which concerned executive actions of police officers in confiscation of the company’s shares. The judge doesn’t agree with the decision of her colleagues and is ready to obtain justice by all legal methods. “I have gone through all stages of national justice up to the Supreme Court of Russia but without result. My complaints remained unsatisfied. I think that the qualification board of judges of Samara Region wrongfully deprived me of powers and it was made in connection with the so-called “Togliattiazot’s case”. Now I rely only on the European Court of Human Rights”, Nadezhda Kostuchenko said to Interfax.
The ex-judge repudiates all the charges brought against her and affirms that an illegal tapping of telephone talks was organized at the moment of the court examination to which later the prosecution referred. Kostuchenko informs that recently she has received a notification from Strasburg that her complaint will be examined. She confesses that she hopes to obtain justice also in our country and has sent pertinent applications to the office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation and Supreme Court of Arbitration. Interfax has got a copy of the application.
Applying to chairman of the RF Supreme Court of Arbitration Anton Ivanov the former judge of Samara Region writes, “As it is seen from the decision of the board of judges two my awards concerning JSC Togliattiazot became the main argument for my dismissal and accusation in aforethought falsification, gross violations of law, making awards known to be unfair”.
In the letter Kostuchenko explains that “The Resolution of the Presidium of the RF Supreme Court of Arbitration 22.11.05 overruled all judicial acts in the case № A 55-3006/04 concerning nullification of the purchase and sale contract of JSC Togliattiazot’s shares from 12.09.1996 in the amount of 6.1%, the case was again sent for new examination. Within the limits of this case I didn’t make any judicial acts concerning the essence of the dispute. I examined only two complaints of JSC Togliattiazot about the actions of the law enforcement officer within the limits of the executive proceedings in securing measures in the form of confiscation of 6.1% shares”, Kostuchenko points out.
According to Kostuchenko’s words her first award was to declare invalid the resolution of the police officer to institute executive proceedings in connection with confiscation of 6.1 % JSC Togliattiazot’s shares as since 1996 these shares had belonged to other juridical persons. According to Kostuchenko’s application to the chairman of the Supreme Court of Arbitration her second award was to declare invalid the resolution of the law enforcement officer about the confiscation of the same 6.1% shares adopted within the limits of the executive proceedings which had already been declared invalid by the effective award. In her application the ex-judge assures that making these awards she violated neither norms of law nor rights of the parties in the action.
“When the first complaint was brought before the court the chairman of the court asked me into his room and offered to make no award in favor of JSC Togliattiazot by reason of state interest. However, nonfulfilment of direct instructions of the chairman of the court became one of the reasons for termination of my powers”, Nadezhda Kostuchenko writes.
In her letter the judge tells in detail with what formulations this offer was made and what forms of pressure she had to undergo. “The chairman of the court offered me to go out of service in the form of direct frank pressure with a reference to the fact that during a long period of time he had tapped all my telephone talks including a talk with a judge of the RF Supreme Court of Arbitration and with threats on my children. He declared that “there couldn’t be two chairmen in the court”, Kostuchenko affirms in the letters to the office of the Prosecutor General and the Supreme Court of Arbitration.
Head of the qualification board of judges of Samara Region Larisa Aganina explains to Interfax that “Kostuchenko was deprived of powers because of rude violations of the arbitration code, violations of the judges’ status law, actions belittling authority of judicial power”.
“According to the judges’ status law a judge can not be called to any account for his/her opinion expressed in his/her award. So the reference of the ex-judge to the fact that she has suffered for her award is groundless. Legality of judges’ awards is checked by higher authorities. We called her to disciplinary account for rude violation of the arbitration code, for violation of the judges’ status law, for actions which belittle authority of judicial power”, Aganina said.
Chairman of the Samara Region Arbitration Court Nikolay Novikov refused to comment the information about Kostuchenko’s case.
Earlier, as the mass-media admit, the first vice-chairman of the Russia Supreme Court of Arbitration Yelena Valyavina also declared that she had undergone pressure in connection with the same Togliattiazot’s case. The research carried out by the Center of Political Technologies (CPT) also affirms it. Leader of the CPT Igor Bunin called it one of the biggest scandals of the recent time that the first vice-chairman of the Supreme Court of Arbitration Yelena Valyavina was demanded to overturn her award to release JSC Togliattiazot’s shares from confiscation.
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