In the submission, RJI welcomes with a cautious optimism the efforts made by the Russian investigative authorities in identifying the remains of the applicant’s son, but notes with regret the unjustified secrecy of the process and classification of documents that prevent the applicant from receiving the full spectrum of information about the remains found. Due to classification of documents by the VSU investigator, neither the applicant nor her counsel have access to the full range of documents—of which there are 11 in total—concerning the process of appointing and carrying out the forensic medical examinations in the criminal case.
The submission also notes that in case of a disagreement with the conclusions of the examination, the applicant has the right of appeal, but in order to effectively make use of this right, the applicant and her counsel must have full access to the documents concerning the appointment and performance of the forensic examinations, without any restrictions due to confidentiality. The applicant must also have timely access to such documents.
Finally, of paramount importance is the question of the return of the remains to the applicant. According to an expert forensic examination conducted in October 2015, the authorities have determined with close to 100% accuracy that the remains found belong to the applicant’s son. However, the remains have still not been handed over to the applicant for burial.
The full submission is available here.