Last week saw a rare victory for the rule of law in a case involving Russian military atrocities in Chechnya—though it remains to be seen whether that victory will be consolidated. The military branch of the federal Supreme Court nullified April’s verdict by a jury in Rostov (see Chechnya Weekly, May 5) finding four officers not guilty of the murder of six Chechen civilians in January 2002. The case will now go back to the lower court for a new trial.
That new trial, however, may result in the same verdict as the previous one. The Supreme Court panel cited only procedural violations such as the makeup of the jury.