On January 31, the St. Petersburg City Court, as part of an appeal hearing, overturned the orders to arrest and search for billionaire Boris Berson in the case of a fire in the A. Cherkassky House (Ritter). This was reported to Kommersant by the businessman’s lawyer Stanislav Sinitsyn. Also within the framework of the meeting, the city court overturned the decision of the Vasileostrovskiy District Court to place Mr. Berson in a hospital to check for mental disorders.
The City Court of St. Petersburg, as part of the appeal session, canceled two decisions of the Vasileostrovskiy District Court against the former shareholder of the Adamant holding, Boris Berson: on changing the measure of restraint to detention and search and on the appointment of a comprehensive inpatient psychological and psychiatric examination. This was reported to Kommersant by the businessman’s lawyer Stanislav Sinitsyn. The defender stressed that his principal stays at home and receives outpatient treatment.
“Today we have two wins. As a result of an appeal hearing, the St. Petersburg City Court annulled the decision to change the measure of restraint to detention and search, as well as the decision to appoint a comprehensive in-patient psychological and psychiatric examination. At the moment, this decision can still be appealed,” Mr. Berson’s lawyer, Stanislav Sinitsyn, told Kommersant-SPb.
On January 10 of this year, the Vasileostrovskiy Court ruled that a measure of restraint in the form of detention for six months was chosen against Boris Berson, the businessman was put on the wanted list. In the appeal, the defense argued that this decision, as well as the petition before the court of the public prosecutor to change the measure of restraint to detention, contradicts Art. 7 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation (according to which the rulings of the court and the decisions of the judge must be legal, justified and motivated). The lawyers insisted that the arguments set forth in the petition were “only subjective and unsubstantiated assumptions of the public prosecutor, not confirmed by anything.”
Also, according to the defense, the refusal of the court to properly evaluate the arguments of the lawyers creates an advantage for the prosecution and is a sign of the partiality of the court. In addition, the court did not properly take into account the medical documentation available in the criminal case, but simply formally listed the main theses of diseases in its ruling, Mr. Berson’s lawyers assure.
On October 14, 2022, a comprehensive inpatient psychological and psychiatric examination was assigned to the billionaire. The motion of the defense against the appointment of the examination was denied. Arguments about the need for an examination by the public prosecutor were not provided.
Lawyers believe that the court, when issuing the decision, did not give a proper assessment of the severity of the illness and treatment of the accused, as well as the possibility of conducting an inpatient psychological and psychiatric examination.
“The facts indicating that the risks of deterioration in the state of health increase many times over during an inpatient psychological and psychiatric examination in relation to the accused were also not considered by the court,” the complaint says.
The investigation into the fire at the Ritter mansion believes that the businessman from August 21, 2013 to May 28, 2021 showed criminal inaction in the preservation and use of a cultural heritage site of regional importance, as a result of which the building was damaged by fires. The total amount of damage amounted to 39.1 million rubles. Earlier, Kommersant-SPb wrote that the case against Adamant co-founder Boris Berson was initiated after a series of fires in the historic Ritter mansion on Universitetskaya embankment. Charge under Art. 243.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was presented to him on May 29. The court ordered Boris Berson to restore the building on Universitetskaya Embankment in December 2020.