The ICJ welcomes the decision of the Osh Regional Court to overturn an intermediate ruling to initiate disciplinary proceedings against two lawyers representing the interests of a victim of sexual assault.
The ICJ sent a mission to observe today’s hearing. The mission raised no issues of concern regarding the conduct of the proceedings observed.
On 3 July 2013, the Osh City Court issued an intermediate ruling to initiate disciplinary proceedings against two lawyers, Valerian Vakhitov, Khusanbai Saliyev, for taking procedural steps provided for under Kyrgyzstan law, including filing motions to the upper judicial instances or filing motions to recuse the judge during and not before the trial.
Today, the Osh Regional Court upheld lawyers’ appeal and overturned the decision to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the lawyers.
The case concerns charges against a teacher in a religious institution for sexual acts with one of his students, a nine-year-old boy.
The representatives of the defendant alleged that he is not criminally responsible by reason of insanity – a proposition contested by the lawyers of the victim. The main trial is ongoing.
The trial was observed by an ICJ trial observation mission: Oleg Levytskyy (Ukraine) and Almaza Osmanova (Kyrgyz Republic).
The observers met with the court, the prosecutor, representatives of the victims and the defendant.
“We welcome the decision to overturn the ruling to initiate disciplinary proceedings against these lawyers,” said Róisín Pillay, Director of the ICJ Europe Regional Programme. “In accordance with international standards, it is the lawyers’ duty to assist their clients in every appropriate way and take legal action to protect their interests. Therefore punishing lawyers for their diligent work would run contrary to the obligation of the state to guarantee that lawyers can carry out their functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.”
Róisín Pillay, Director, ICJ Europe Programme, roisin.pillay(a)icj.org
Temur Shakirov, Legal Adviser, ICJ Europe Programme, temur.shakirov(a)icj.org
Kyrgyzstan-Osh_Lawyers_Trial Observation-news-web story-2013-rus (full text in pdf)