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27.06.2017 The webinar on the Dual Nature of the Russian Constitutional Court’s Judgment in the Case of Alexander Pevzner: Disruption of the Presumption of Innocence and the Confiscation of Property as Worsening the Position of Suspects in Criminal Cases took place on June, 27

The webinar on the Dual Nature of the Russian Constitutional Court’s Judgment in the Case of Alexander Pevzner:  Disruption of the Presumption of Innocence and the Confiscation of Property as Worsening the Position of Suspects in Criminal Cases took place on June, 27. The event was held as part of a series of webinars on Modern Constitutional and International Justice and was organized as part of the project on Enhancing Civic Engagement in Strategic Constitutional Litigation in Russia.

The webinar was hosted by Maxim Krupsky, who represented the interests of Alexander Pevzner in the case, and by Grigory Vaypan, head of Litigation Unit at the Institute for Law and Public Policy.  During the webinar, the hosts analyzed the Judgment of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of March 7, 2017, No. 5-P, which regards the case of Alexander Pevzner, who is an art collector from Germany. 40 people attended the webinar.

Briefly on the Case of Alexander Pevzner

Fourteen years ago, Alexander Pevzner brought Christ in the Tomb, a painting, to Russia for expert analysis.  When the experts confirmed that the artist of the painting was Karl Brullov, the panting was classified as an instrument of a crime and confiscated as part of the case that was brought against Pevzner for contraband.

In March 2017 the Russian Constitutional Court agreed to reconsider the decision in Pevzner’s case, thereby admitting that the argued norms did not run contrary to the Constitution.  Additionally, the Court introduced additional criteria for confiscating material evidence declared to be instruments of a crime.  According to the Court’s Judgement, confiscating property after the statute of limitations has run is possible without a guilty verdict if the accused agrees to the confiscation in exchange for dropping the criminal case due to unrehabilitating grounds, specifically in connection with the expiration of the statute of limitations for brining individuals to criminal accountability.

During the webinar, the participants got the opportunity to ask questions to Maxim Krupsky as the direct representative of Alexander Pevzner's interests at the Russian Constitutional Court, and also received answers to the following questions:

- how the criminal case against Alexander Pevzner developed over the past 14 years and which key legal decisions were adopted during this time;

- how the Russian Constitutional Court interprets the principle of presumption of innocence and the right of personal property as part of the institute of confiscating property belonging to suspects in criminal cases after the case has been stopped for lack of grounds;

- according to the Court’s position, how the understanding of worsening the position of a justified individual, against whom a criminal case has been dropped, relates to the confiscation of this individual’s property after the corresponding legal decisions have come into effect;

- what the consequences will be of the Court’s judgment in the Pevzner case for the legal practice in analogous criminal cases, and what meaning this judgment had for the case of Pevzner.

Short commentory by Maxim Krupsky published in the section "Analytics" (in Russian)

Materials on the topic:

Discussing the case on the confiscation of the picture of Karl Bryullov on Radio Liberty.

See the full list of webinars hosted by ILPP

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The webinar is conducted with support from the European Union

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