Russia Denied the Right of Discovery in Skripal Affair
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Pre-trial judicial proceedings in America and elsewhere afford all parties the right to as much information as possible – so nothing is kept secret except for constitutional protection from self-incrimination.
Defendants especially have the right to relevant documents, witness depositions, questions and answers from interrogations, crime scene and other forensic evidence including toxicology results, police reports, “raw evidence,” arrest and search warrants, grand jury testimony, and other relevant data.
The purpose of discovery is to assure judicial fairness, or at least greater fairness than otherwise possible.
Prosecutors are required to provide defendants will all relevant evidence enabling a proper defense.
Criminal legal experts explain that unlike film-portrayed crime dramas, actual ones rarely include surprise evidence by any party during proceedings, especially anything introduced near their conclusion.
Britain accused Russia of poisoning Sergey Skripal, his daughter and police detective Nick Bailey – yet refused to alleged reveal evidence corroborating its charges.
Accusations without evidence are groundless. No legitimate tribunal would accept them. The court of public opinion is another matter entirely – especially when manipulated by one-sided Russophobic finger-pointing.
Moscow justifiably demands release of all relevant information on the Skripal affair – nothing so far presented, indicating nothing incriminating Russia exists.
If otherwise, Britain would have revealed it straightaway to make its case.
Interviewed by RT, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov strongly denied Russian involvement in the Skripal incident. No evidence refutes him or other Russian officials.
Peskov: “The first accusations came from politicians just a couple of hours after the accident…that ‘highly likely, Russia was responsible of that attempt of murder.’ “
“And now we see the words of experts…from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that say that the preliminary examination of this agent will take about three weeks. Is it contradictory? Yes, it is.”
Skripal is “of zero value…zero importance” to Russia, Peskov stressed.
Separately, Sergey Lavrov slammed Britain for breaching its legal obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention for refusing to provide Moscow with samples of the alleged toxin it claims, along with any other relevant information it has on the Skripal incident.
A statement by Russia’s embassy in Washington said:
“Our efforts to obtain facts on the incident from (Britain) have been in vain. They have been busy accusing Russia without proof of poisoning its citizens and attacking the UK, and feverishly seeking support from its partners without presenting any evidence.”
“We are convinced it is obvious that Russophobes in the hysteria-gripped West have been trying to hide their weakness behind ‘solidarity.’ “
The statement further criticized the Trump administration, blaming Russia for an incident it had nothing to do with.
Britain and Washington should present credible evidence of Kremlin culpability or apologize for their affront, the embassy stressed.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry Department for Nonproliferation & Arms Control director Vladimir Ermokov questioned the unlikely impartiality of the OPCW assessment of toxic samples provided by Britain, saying:
“(A) deeper, (independent) expert assessment (is) needed…for Russia to be able to come to any conclusions.”
The OPCW lost credibility by colluding with the West against Syria in investigating CW incidents.
It’s findings were “a total fake,” Ermakov stressed – notably for the sham Kahn Sheikhoun probe conducted off-site with toxic samples supplied by the anti-Assad al-Qaeda-connected White Helmets.
Clearly, Britain has plenty to conceal about the Skripal affair, nothing to reveal incriminating Russia.
Other Western nations are complicit by going along with the ruse, notably America – instead of forthrightly rejecting it.
A Final Comment
US-led Western nations are hostile Russian adversaries, not Kremlin partners as it persists in claiming. Nothing they say or pledge is credible.
Trusting them is self-defeating – expecting them to change foolhardy, after a century of evidence proving otherwise, punctuated by short-lived periods of improved relations.
Russia’s only sensible option is allying East with reliable partners, abandoning efforts to join the Western community of nations, seeking its transformation into vassalage to their domination, its sovereignty destroyed.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”