At the same time, judges routinely refuse to allow the defense to call their own experts. “The judge trusts only experts from the law enforcement organs, an obvious shortcoming of the judicial system. Now, according to the new rule, judges aren’t supposed” to do that. “But we shall see how the situation develops in practice.”
“Unfortunately,” Suleymanov concludes, “experience shows that Paragraph 282 [the anti-extremism law] has been transformed into an analogue of Article 58,” the Stalin-era law under which many Soviet citizens were sent to the GULAG on trumped up charges of spying and anti-Soviet activity.
The supreme court has issued new rules, he says; but the number of “stupid and absurd cases” is unlikely to decline anytime soon, even if there are more jury trials and judges can’t act simply as they like.