The First Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction upheld the sentence of the former State Duma deputy from the Communist Party Valery Rashkin, who was found guilty of illegal hunting. Last April, the Kalininsky District Court in the Saratov Region found that Valery Rashkin had killed an elk without a proper hunting permit and asked his friend Alexander Gnoshev to help butcher and transport the animal. The ex-deputy intends to complain further.
In the Saratov region, a meeting of the First Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction was held, which considered the complaint of the former State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin against the verdict of the district court to find him guilty of illegal hunting (part 2 of article 258 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). In April 2022, the Kalininsky District Court sentenced Valery Rashkin to three years of suspended imprisonment with a two-year probationary period, and he was also banned from hunting for two years. Entrepreneur Alexander Gnoshev, who was recognized as an accomplice in the crime, was fined 500 thousand rubles by the court. with a ban on hunting for a year. During the debate, the prosecutor requested three and a half years of probation for the deputy, and a fine of 1 million rubles for his friend. The defense also asked the court to confine itself to a judicial fine.
Valery Rashkin and Alexander Gnoshev were detained at the end of October 2021 on the territory of the Lebedka hunting estate in the Lysogorsky district of the Saratov region, so the case was considered at the scene of the crime. The process took a little over a month and was closed to the press due to the epidemiological restrictions in force in the region. As a result, the court found that Valery Rashkin had killed the elk without the appropriate hunting permit, and asked Alexander Gnoshev to help butcher and transport the animal.
According to the verdict, on October 28 in the evening, Valery Rashkin tracked wild animals through thermal imaging binoculars. Near the village of Uritskoye, he shot an elk from a Browning carbine. He did not have a hunting license.
“Realizing that, taking into account the weight and size of the animal, he would not be able to process, load and transport it alone, he decided to involve his friend Alexander Gnoshev in the commission of the crime, who … without the appropriate hunting permit, agreed,” the verdict says. Using knives and an ax, they butchered the carcass and loaded it into a LADA Largus, after which they were detained by an employee of the Committee for Hunting and Fisheries of the Saratov Region. The damage to the animal world was estimated at 80 thousand rubles, which is large.
Alexander Gnoshev fully admitted his guilt, Valery Rashkin claimed that he was sure that all the necessary permits were available and hunting for ungulates was allowed. After the verdict was passed, Valery Rashkin said that he considered it unfair and disproportionate to the offense.
In May last year, the Saratov Regional Court upheld the verdict, Alexander Gnoshev did not appeal the court decision.
“In the cassation complaint, the convicted Rashkin, referring to the violations of the norms of substantive and procedural laws committed by the courts, asked to cancel the appealed court decisions and stop the proceedings in the criminal case with the imposition of a court fine,” the cassation instance reported, explaining that the court “did not find grounds to satisfy the cassation complaint of the convict.
Valery Rashkin intends to appeal against the decision of the court of cassation in the Supreme Court. “I plan to go through the entire vertical in order to understand whether it is possible to find at least some justice in the courts,” Valery Rashkin told Kommersant. He noted that his claims to court decisions remained the same, in particular, according to him, the court did not take into account the fact that even at the stage of pre-trial consideration of the case, he fully voluntarily compensated for the damage caused by his actions.
“Even the Kalininsky District Court avoided the fact that the victim, the Committee for Hunting and Fisheries of the Saratov Region, did not make any material claims, I paid a fine, bought food, bought a moose cow, which is still in the Irkutsk Region, because the committee refuses to accept it , paid for the feed. They did not take this into account both in the appellate and cassation instances, although it is the duty of the court to consider the possibility of compensation for damage, ”said Valery Rashkin.
According to the ex-deputy, the trial against him is “absolutely politicized” and its goal is “to punish Rashkin for being an active communist.”
The initiation of a criminal case and the subsequent verdict became the reason for the termination of the deputy powers of Valery Rashkin. His place in the State Duma was transferred to Anastasia Udaltsova. Valery Rashkin tried to challenge the deprivation of the mandate, referring to the fact that the district court did not impose a punishment in the form of a ban on certain activities. The communist called the decision “a political reprisal against an opposition deputy.” In September last year, the Supreme Court of Russia rejected the complaint of the representative of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Valery Rashkin about depriving him of the status of a State Duma deputy. He announced that he intended to complain to the Constitutional Court.