Ordinary people have tremendous power to take a stand against corruption, and to hold crooked officials and judges accountable.. don’t ever believe all hope is lost, or that you are powerless.
Place: Blagoveshchensk (Amur Region, Eastern Russia)
Official: Judge Yevegeny Makhno, Blagoveshchensk City Court
Victims: Sergei Khabarov (sentenced to 6 years in prison) and Andrei Naletov (sentenced to 5 years in prison), local businessmen accused of fraud
A Russian judge resigns after caught sleeping on the bench during a trial that resulted in Andrei Naletov and Sergei Khabarov being sent to a penal colony for 5-6 years of hard labor.
A video of Judge Yevgeny Makhno went viral, showing the Judge slumped over, his head cocked to one side, as he is sleeping through a defense lawyer’s speech. Judge Makhno was also witnessed to be playing with his phone during trial. Judge Makhno has been nicknamed the “Sleeping Judge” or “Napping Judge”.
Judge Makhno said he was not sleeping but “listening with his eyes closed”.
Human rights activits,Vladislav Nikitenko, received footage of the trial from concerned relatives of Andrei Naletov and posted it online. Mr. Nikitenko also filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court, asking the verdict to be cancelled.
Nikitenko said, “A verdict made on the basis of a hearing in which the judge took no interest in the court investigation and slept during the pleadings cannot be considered lawful.”
In March 2013, Andrei Naletov and Sergei Khabarov both had their sentences cancelled due to violations made during the investigative process. The release of this video and resulting complaint, as well as pressure mounted by the public awareness of the trial, was a powerful influence to hold Judge Makho accountable, and to demand justice for these men.
Makho may return to the bench – provided he retakes his exams. He is now working as a layer for a large gold mining company. How ironic, the crooked judge has now become a gold digger!
“Judge Falls Asleep During Trial in Russia”. Pravdu.com, 1-02-2013: http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/crimes/01-02-2013/123656-sleeping_judge-0/
“Russian judge caught napping during trial, Only to turn around and send a man behind bars for 5 years”. Toksdam, 1-24-2013: http://www.toksdam.com/2013/01/24/russian-judge-caught-napping-during-trial-only-to-turn-around-and-send-a-man-behind-bars-for-5years/#more-10302
“Russian ‘sleeping judge’ resigns after video expose” by Alessandra Prentice. Reuters, 2-1-2013: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/01/us-russia-judge-idUSBRE9100ST20130201