Previous requests for further Investigation
During the hearings in June 2020 counsel for one of the accused submitted the preliminary requests for further investigation. On 3 July 2020 the court ruled on those requests. The court also provided guidelines for submitting additional requests for investigation. Requests that could be submitted without consulting the accused were to be raised today by counsel. Requests for further investigation that did require consultation with their client could be submitted in the next block of hearings, which starts on 3 November 2020.
Progress by the defence
In recent weeks the members of counsel visited the Russian Federation and spoke with their client there. Today the defence has adopted the position that these conversations have yielded so many new insights that they have not yet been able to submit additional requests for further investigation. They have indicated that they will be able to submit all their requests on 3 November 2020.
The court shall give the defence the opportunity to present the additional requests for investigation in the block of hearings starting on 3 November 2020. The defence shall need to substantiate those requests properly, indicating why those requests could not be submitted earlier.
Request from the defence: adding documents to the file
On 31 August 2020 the defence requested that documents or sections of documents that the examining magistrate had restricted be added to the file. Those documents concern the interviews with protected witnesses. Last week the examining magistrate shared her expert opinion on those requests. She did so at the request of the court, given that she – unlike the court – is familiar with the contents of those documents. The examining magistrate indicated that the reasons why documents were not added entirely or in part to the file previously still apply. Those reasons relate to the safety of the witnesses. The court is adopting the expert opinion of the investigating magistrate and is therefore rejecting the request from the defence regarding these documents.
Next block of hearings
In the next hearing block from 3 November 2020, the defence will have the opportunity to submit the other requests for further investigation. The Public Prosecution Service will be able to respond. In that hearing block the court shall take a decision on those requests as well.