On Tuesday 20th January, a ruling was heard at the Dzerzhinsky District Court which declared a 4th December 2008 raid on the offices of human rights NGO memorial illegal.
The December raid was conducted by several masked and armed men who claimed to be from the local Investigative Committee of the General Procurators' office acting upon alleged social and ethnic hatred incited by an article by St. Petersburg journalist Konstantin Chernyayev Paper files and computers were confiscated in the course of the raid.
The ruling to dismiss the legal grounds for the raid was based on the fact that Memorial was denied the right to have legal counsel present during the raid. Video evidence submitted to the court showed the investigators ignoring the attempts of Memorial's lawyer to enter the offices.
The case is now pending an appeal.