Mikhail Trepashkin

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Mikhail Trepashkin

Mikhail Trepashkin, (Russian: Михаил Трепашкин) a Moscow attorney and former FSB officer, was invited by MP Sergei Kovalev to assist in an independent inquiry of the Russian apartment bombings in September 1999 – the atrocities that provoked the Second Chechen War and skyrocketed Vladimir Putin to presidency.

The inquiry led to nowhere because of the government stonewalling [1]. Then two sisters whose mother was killed in one of the houses hired Trepashkin to represent them in the trial of two Russian Muslims accused of transporting explosives for the bombings [2].

While preparing for the trial Trepashkin uncovered a trail of a mysterious suspect whose description had disappeared from the files. To his amazement, the man turned out to be one of his former FSB colleagues. He also found a witness who testified that evidence was doctored to lead the investigation away from incriminating the FSB [3].

But Trepashkin never managed to air his findings in court. On October 22, 2003, just a week before the hearings, a gun was allegedly planted into his car, and he ended up behind bars. However, before his arrest he told his story to a Moscow journalist [4].

The gun charge was thrown out by a Moscow appeals court[5], but Trepashkin was convicted by a closed military court to four years for "disclosing official secrets" [6].

In September 2005 after serving two years of his sentence, Trepashkin was released on parole, but two weeks later was re-arrested after the State appealed the parole decision [7].

The case of Mikhail Trepashkin caught the attention of the Western press [8], caused an uproar among human rights campaigners [9], was put on record by Amnesty International, mentioned by the US State Department [10] and even featured in an award-winning documentary Disbelief[11].

Mikhail Trepashkin recently managed to send a few letters from his prison [12]. He asks why did the democratic forces of Russia betrayed him while Aleksander Litvinenko, he and others bravely came forward to tell the truth about FSB.

[edit] External links

ru:Трепашкин, Михаил Иванович

Mikhail Trepashkin

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