Viktor Filinkov (left) and Yuli Boyarshinov (right) in the dock at the Network trial in Petersburg, discussing matters with their defense lawyers. Photo courtesy of Zaks.ru
Petersburg Defendants in Network Case Remanded in Custody till September 11
June 4, 2019
On Tuesday, June 4, a panel of judges from the Moscow Military District Court, presiding at a circuit hearing in Petersburg, extended the remand in custody of anarchists Viktor Filinkov and Yuli Boyarshinov, defendants in the trial of the so-called Network terrorist community, until September 11.
The defendants’ previous remand in custody would have expired on June 11. The prosecution insisted it be extended. The defendants asked to release them on house arrest. Filinkov and Boyarshinov have been imprisoned for nearly a year and a half.
Earlier in the hearing, the court granted a motion, made by Filinkov’s defense counsel, Vitaly Cherkasov, to order a phonoscopic forensic examination of an audio recording in the case files containing, allegedly, a conversation between the Petersburg defendants.
As part of the forensic examination, FSB Captain Maxim Volkov recorded their voices in the courtroom. They were told to say anything they liked in the microphone.
Filinkov spoke for around eleven minutes about what happened during the early days after he was detained by the FSB, including the electrical shock torture to which he had previously accused the FSB officers who detained him of subjecting him.
Boyarshinov recounted the time he had spent in remand prison, his loved ones, and his passion for traveling.
The trials of the Network defendants have been taking place simultaneously in Petersburg and Penza.
There are nine defendants in the dock. They have been charged with establishing a terrorist organization that, allegedly, wanted to carry out terrorist attacks against officials and security services officers. They also, allegedly, planned to overthrow the government.
On the contrary, the defendants claim they practiced airsoft together and discussed anarchist ideas, but had no plans to commit any crimes whatsoever.
Translated by the Russian Reader
They took a dynamo out of a bag and put it on the table. All the agents were wearing balaclavas and medical gloves.
They strapped my hands behind my back, I was only in my underpants, they strapped my legs to the bench with tape. One agent, Alexander, stripped the wires with a craft knife and attached them to my toes. They didn’t ask any questions, they simply started cranking the dynamo.
I felt electric currents in my legs up to the knees. It feels like you are being skinned alive, but when it stops, it’s as if nothing happened at all. There’s no pain when the electricity stops.
Well, it’s impossible to endure this. They hit me [with electric shocks] maybe about five times without asking any questions, probably, to stun me or something like that. Then they told me: if you haven’t figured it out, you are in the hands of the FSB, we are not going to play games, you will have to answer our questions now. The answers “no”, “I don’t know”, “I don’t remember” are wrong answers.
—Excerpt from Network defendant Dmitry Pchelintsev’s testimony at the Penza Network trial, as published by People and Nature on June 4, 2019. Read the rest of Pchelintsev’s nearly unbearable story there.