“Poppy case” hearings begin, Olga Zelenina among 13 accused
Penza, 15 December 2014. PenzaNews. The preliminary hearing on the so-called “poppy case” on drug trade, allegedly contained in confectionery poppy, has begun in Bryansk regional court on Monday, December 15. Among the defendants are 13 people, including Olga Zelenina, head of the chemical-analytical laboratory of Penza Scientific-Research Institute of Agriculture.
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After the break, the hearing will continue on Tuesday, December 16.
“The hearing was not made public since the parties are establishing their legal arguments. It is scheduled to take part on two days due to the case size and many defendants,” Galina Kubekina, press secretary of Bryansk regional court, told PenzaNews agency.
According to information posted on the official website of the court, Olga Zelenina is charged with abuse of power (Part 1, Art. 286 of the Criminal Code), and complicity to a criminal organization (Part 5, Art. 33; and Part. 2, Art. 210 of the Criminal Code).
According to investigators, in 2011, at the request of businessman Sergei Shilov, the employee of Penza Agricultural Research Institute stated that 42 tons of poppy imported by him through Bryansk customs did not contain drugs. This document was presumably sent to the evaluations made by the experts of Federal Drug Control Service, for which Olga Zelenina allegedly received 20,000 rubles.
As PenzaNews agency reported earlier, head of the chemical-analytical laboratory of Penza Scientific-Research Institute of Agriculture Olga Zelenina was detained by police forces in her house in Lunino village on charges of providing falsified expert report on confectionary poppy drug mix.
For about 24 hours after detainment, relatives of Olga Zelenina had received no information on her current location. They addressed the police with an official request.
On the night of August 16, Olga Zelenina was escorted to the clinic No. 4 of Moscow with breast pang. Due to lengthy interrogations, first in Penza and then in the capital, her condition worsened dramatically.
On August 17, the human rights ombudsman of Russia Vladimir Lukin vouched for Olga Zelenina.
On August 20, the Zuzino area court of Moscow satisfied the request made by a federal drug inspector of Russia to bring Olga Zelenina into custody as a suspect until October 15, 2012.
On September 24, the Moscow city court has overturned the claim of the Zuzino area court and ordered to review the case evidence.
On September 25, the Zuzino area court ordered to free Olga Zelenina from custody, who had been confined for over a month.
On September 26, 2012, Olga Zelenina was charged in abusing her credentials. Since September 27, she is unable to leave Moscow, and two courts have repealed her request to move her to Penza in April 2013.
On September 28, 2012, the charges against Olga Zelenina and Sergei Shilov were merged into one case.
In Spring 2013, two courts affirmed the rights of Olga Zelenina to perform her duties in the Penza Scientific-Research Institute of Agriculture as a head of the laboratory, thus denying the claims of the prosecution.
On November 24, according to Olga Zelenina’s message in a social network, the court found her not guilty in assisting counterfeit trade and drug trafficking, but charged under Art. 210 of the Criminal Code, titled “Organizing or participating in a gang.”
On December 2, 2013, the Moscow city court affirmed the travel ban that leaves Olga Zelenina to remain in Moscow with an invalid passport.
The case was referred to the Bryansk region court In November 2014.