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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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Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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