21 March 2012
No criminal proceedings currently planned against journalist Arkady Babchenko for alleged ‘incitement to mass disorder’
The journalist Arkady Babchenko.
© Photo OIA
On 21 March Ivan Shcherbakov, investigator of the First Department for the Investigation of Especially Important Cases of the Moscow Investigative Committee, told Svetlana Sidorkina, the lawyer representing Arkady Babchenko on behalf of Agora, that no criminal proceedings are as yet planned in relation to the journalist Arkady Babchenko for alleged ‘incitement to mass disorder’.
“We have no plans to do so at present. No criminal proceedings are planned for the present in relation to the journalist Babchenko. We have not even summoned him to take part in any aspect of the investigation,” investigator Shcherbakov said, Open Information Agency reports.
The lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina points out that a criminal investigation has been opened not in relation to the journalist Arkady Babchenko but in relation to the publication on 27 February in his blog of the commentary “A Couple of Thoughts about Tactics in March”. Arkady Babchenko’s legal representative is therefore expecting the Investigative Committee to conduct an official investigation into the journalist in connection with this criminal case.
A criminal investigation under Article 212, Section 3, of the Criminal Code (“Incitement to actively disobey the lawful demands of representatives of authority and to mass disorders, and also incitement to the use of violence against citizens”) was opened at the request of Boris Yakemenko, member of the Public Chamber and brother of Vasily Yakemenko, head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, on the basis of the journalist’s publication of “A Couple of Thoughts about Tactics in March” in his blog. A conviction under Article 212, Section 3, can result in a prison term of up to three years.