By Slava Tsukerman
There were several trials in Russia lately where judges rendered obviously unjust decisions for political reasons.
The most widely known of them, publicized all over the world, is the current trial of the opposition leader, Aleksei Navalny.
But corruption of Russian courts is not limited to politics. On June 5 of this year, Moscow City Court made a judgment that raised a new wave of protests.
More than three years ago in the center of Moscow, a Mercedes S500 (one of the most expensive car in Europe) of Anatoly Barkov, vice-president of “Lukoil”, , collided with a Citroen (one of the cheapest cars in Europe), driven by 36 year old Dr. Olga Alexandrina, a gynecologist.
Lukoil is Russia’s second largest oil producing company.
Barkov was taken to hospital with minor injuries. Alexandrina died on the spot and another Citroen passenger, Olga’s seventy-two year old mother-in-law, a famous gynecologist Dr. Vera Sidelnikova, died later in the emergency room.
Barkov with a scratch on his nose was hospitalized immediately. Traffic police spent thirty minutes questioning Vera Sidelnikova, who was still conscious, in the broken Citroen. She died of injuries of the internal organs, caused by compression of the seat belt. She could have been saved, if she were delivered to hospital in time.
Olga’s forty-eight year old husband Sergey died six months after the fatal accident that claimed the lives of two of his favorite women – his wife and his mother.
Olga Alexandrina with her daughter, now orphan.
Numerous witnesses had seen that the car of the vice-president of the oil company had violated traffic rules. At the time of the crash, his car was in the lane of the oncoming traffic.
However, the police report denied all the facts.
Police obviously tried to conceal evidence. It took two days to start a criminal proceeding after the accident. Barkov’s car was removed from the spot prior to investigating research. Video recordings of the three local surveying cameras had mysteriously disappeared.
(Think this can’t happen in the USA? Read “The Midnight Ride of Jonathon Luna” by Bill Keisling where dozens of video cameras in a federal building suddenly ‘mal functioned’ the night the federal prosecutor disappeared.)
The case gained wide publicity. As a result on March 5, 2010 traffic police released a video of the accident recorded by one of the cameras. The collision is not seen on the video, but the video shows Barkov’s car entering the opposite lane.
Nevertheless, the local court decided that the accident was caused by the Alexandrina’s driving. Investigation of the case was terminated in connection with the death of the alleged perpetrator.
The family of the deceased did not agree with the decision to dismiss the case and appealed to the Constitutional Court. It ruled that, according to the Russian Constitution, a court cannot stop the case in connection with the death of a suspect without the consent of relatives. After that decision, the case was reopened July 28, 2011.
Meanwhile, two of the three independent experts who reviewed the matter at the request of the Russian Motorists Federation came to the conclusion that the accident was caused by the Mercedes of Anatoly Barkov entering into the oncoming traffic lane.
The scandal was ongoing for more than three years and now finally came to conclusion with the final judgment of the District Court. The dead doctor Olga Alexandrina found guilty in the accident!
A poster with a portrait of Anatoly Barkov appeared on Russian Internet:
“I’ve killed two women, and bought off; and what’s your life achievement, boy?”