Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Russia / Moldova4 April 2008

Appeal court upholds Moldovan youth’s acquittal of murdering journalist in Moscow

An appeal court in the Moldovan city of Balti issued a ruling on 2 April confirming the acquittal of Igor Velchev, a young Moldovan, on charges of murdering Russian journalist Ilya Zimin in Moscow. A reporter for Moscow-based NTV, Zimin was found dead in his apartment on 26 February 2006.

The court rejected the appeal by prosecutors against Velchev’s acquittal by a court in the northern district of Ocnita on 25 December. He was tried in Moldova under a Commonwealth of Independent States provision for accused persons to be prosecuted in their country of origin.

Velchev’s lawyer, Viktor Shilat, said the appeal court’s decision showed the professionalism of the Moldovan justice system. Velchev maintains that he is innocent and accuses the Russian authorities of trying to make him the scapegoat.

Zimin’s family said they did not rule out the possibility of appealing to the supreme court of justice, Moldova’s highest court. There is a two-month deadline for submitting an appeal.

Zimin’s colleagues voiced their discontent after Velchev’s acquittal in December and NTV representatives said they were considering taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights so that it could be examined in an “impartial manner.”

Velchev was arrested in his home town of Kagul, in southern Moldova, on 23 June 2006, months after he had been identified by the Moscow authorities as the suspect in Zimin’s murder. Article 13 of the Moldovan criminal code forbids the extradition of Moldovan citizens accused of crimes in other countries.

  In this country
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
1 May - Russia
Newspaper editor in coma after latest case of violence against journalists
10 April - Russia
Prosecutors say Novaya Gazeta journalist’s mysterious death was not murder
1er April - Russia
Local newspaper reporter dies two days after beating, human rights activist attacked outside Moscow home
16 March - Russia
Official issued Politkovskaya killer with fake passport

in the annual report
Russia - Annual Report 2008
Russia - Annual report 2007
Russia - 2006 Annual report
In this country
10 April - Moldova
Authorities urged to stop violence against journalists
8 April - Moldova
In “unfair and dangerous” move, Moldova denies entry to 18 Romanian journalists
6 March - Moldova
Privately-owned TV station being harassed in run-up to parliamentary elections
29 May - Moldova
Concern about government harassment of independent news media
2 May - Moldova
Court freezes newspaper’s accounts in connection with libel action

in the annual report
Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives