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Russian court has sentenced the Hero of Ukraine, people's deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, PACE delegate Nadia Savchenko to 22 years of imprisonment.
No one had illusions towards her case. And not because Savchenko has really committed crime, but rather vice versa.
In any normal judicial system Savchenko would be released before the trial, at the stage of preliminary investigation, at the moment when the investigator has got her alibi evidence on his table. In any normal system, but not in the Russian investigative and judicial assembly line which embroils in the system millstones to a state of "camp dust."
At a time when the law is not applied correctly, when the officials, investigators, prosecutors, judges apply the law selectively (depending on the task management), the lawyer has a special role. It is about a relatively small percentage of cases, precisely political. Those, where the prosecution because of views, political activities or opposing the interests of the authorities, is only a tool of the repressive apparatus, and a set of criminal compositions can both reflect the political affiliation of cases, for example, "extremism."
The lawyer gets a special role here.
On the one hand, the defender can perform highly specialized function. He might voice the arguments in the investigation, the trial, be refused, send a complaint, pass all instances, appeal to the ECHR. He has carried out all the necessary legal actions, and after the work he removed the "sleeves" and quietly went home.
However, the Russian Federation law "On Advocacy and Legal Practice" requires to lawyer honestly, reasonably, and in good faith to uphold the rights and legitimate interests by all means not prohibited by the legislation of the Russian Federation.
These tools, in addition to direct legal actions are realization of the right to freedom of expression, and the inclusion of policy instruments.
Of course, a decisive role in making decisions about strategy and defense tactics played the opinion of the client - the system grinds into the dust. Often, people are willing to take a moral compromise, willing to sacrifice principles for the immediate resolution of the situation. This is the main role of the "system."
But it also happens that the spit is on the stone: a person is willing to go through with his convictions. History knows a number of heroic examples that showed the "steel" people. Nadia Savchenko is just just the right person. She has been consistently refusing to take the offers of her “well-wishers” to find a compromise. She does not admit her guilt in the fact that she did not commit. She is standing for the truth. She is not trying to help in the creation of images, beneficial for the Russian authorities in exchange for freedom. Savchenko and her iron will become a protection in this dishonest and vile criminal case.
In this case, the lawyers managed to fully realize the duties of the defense by performing not only some very specific work in legal actions in the preliminary investigation and the trial, but also by being able to give the process a political sense, public lighting from the very beginning. At a time when the investigation, the prosecution and the court are the only decoration of the political decisions, only such a "hybrid" protection, or, as we call it, "political advocacy" is able to give an adequate response to pressure from the society of the state.
Following only the ordinary rules and mechanisms in such political processes does not give the proper result. For a system, the law and the right are decorating, not the underlying functions. Legal, procedural actions may only be the design, the substrate, which is achieved due to legal "purity" of the case, allowing political decisions to rely on formed legal basis.
That is why the level of the decision-making in Savchenko’s case is now at the top of the political Olympus. The heads of the great powers have to discuss the criminal case, which at the very beginning seemed to be a propaganda adventure. Only this way will lead to her release.
We can say with certainty that the story of Ukrainian pilot, a Hero of Ukraine, and international politician Nadia Savchenko does not end with the verdict of the Donetsk City Court of the Rostov region: it only begins.
Nadia knows that regardless of the term imposed by the sentence, she will soon be free and return home. And we have no reason not to believe in it.