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Dovgy Found Guilty After Traffic Police Stop Juror

Published: June 26, 2009 (Issue # 1486)


MOSCOW Former senior investigator Dmitry Dovgy might have left the court a free man Wednesday if juror No. 10 hadnt been stopped by the traffic police on her way to the courthouse.

Dovgy a former top official with the Investigative Committee whose legal troubles are believed to be part of a bitter power struggle between political clans was convicted of bribery and abuse of office by a split jury in the Moscow City Court.

Dovgy looked down at his notes without expression as the jury announced its verdict.

Dmitry Dovgy was prepared for such an outcome, his lawyer Yury Bagrayev said in a sad voice outside the courtroom.

The trial started with a delay Wednesday morning because one of the jurors did not arrive in time. Juror No. 10, Yelena Zharkova, was detained by a traffic police officer for about 40 minutes as he insisted on checking whether she was driving a stolen car, Zharkova said.

Traffic police rarely perform stolen vehicle checks when stopping drivers to examine their documents.

Zharkova, who showed up at the court after the judge had already replaced her with a reserve juror, angrily told reporters that she had shown the traffic police officer a document that grants jurors special status on par with federal judges, but he had ignored it.

Defense lawyer Robert Zinovyev said the traffic police incident was suspicious. No policeman should have been able to hold her up for so long, because she had the status of a federal judge, he told reporters after the conviction.

It took the 12-member jury about three hours to rule on 10 questions formed by the court. The jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision; by law, only a majority is needed to reach a verdict. But Judge Dmitry Fomin ordered them not to reveal how they had voted, leaving it unclear whether Zharkovas vote might have saved Dovgy from being convicted.

Defense lawyers said they believed that Zharkova would have voted for Dovgys acquittal.

The juror who replaced Zharkova was the last available member of the four-person reserve. The other three backup jurors had already been called in to replace original jurors who had left for various reasons.

Unusual jury activity has raised red flags with defense lawyers in other cases. Three jurors were removed and charged with wrongdoing including one with public drinking during the high-profile trial of banker Alexei Frenkel last year in the Moscow City Court. Frenkels lawyers denounced the charges as a prosecution ploy to tip the jury in its favor, and the modified jury later convicted Frenkel of ordering the 2006 murder of central banker Andrei Kozlov.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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