The firm’s client had been charged with committing a particularly serious crime by the preliminary investigation authorities and sentenced to seven years in prison by one of the Moscow District Courts.
Despite the relative lenience of the sentence, the client had not accepted it and maintained his innocence. A-PRO lawyers lodged an appeal to the Moscow City Court and demanded to overturn the conviction. Along with providing the proof of the defendant’s innocence, they brought to notice that the judge of the District Court had considered other cases (apart from the case of the client) after having retired to the deliberation room. Without leaving the deliberation room and pronouncing the sentence to the client, the judge simultaneously considered another criminal case and retired to the deliberation room to decide on the merits of the case. The whole situation clearly contravened the criminal law.
The presence in the deliberation room while considering two different cases simultaneously is sufficient reason for overturning the sentence in accordance with Paragraph 8 Part 2 Clause 389.17 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. However, the overturning of such cases is quite rare since the circumstances of the deliberation room confidentiality breach are almost impossible to prove and demonstrate.
Thus, the unprecedented achievement of A-PRO lawyers in overturning the sentence in question drastically increased the chances of the defendant to be acquitted.
Having cancelled the sentence on formal grounds, the Moscow City Court insisted on enforcing the adversarial principles and equality of arms during the new trial and carefully verifying the evidence and making a lawful, solid and just decision based on its unbiased evaluation.