Memorial Saga Continues

Memorial goes back to the Dzerzhinskii District Court on Monday to get a decision on whether the police raid on its St. Petersburg headquarters was lawful.  This is the organization’s third hearing.  The last one was postponed because the head investigator did not prepare his case materials. I’ll be sure to report on the hearing after it happens.

In the meantime, there is one piece of new information.  According to, the raid’s head investigator Mikhail Kalganov told the judge that the raid was the result of “outside surveillance of an unknown male of slender built, who after leaving Memorial made his way to the apartment of Aleksei Andreev, the editor in chief of Novyi Peterburg.  Detective Kalganov concluded that this man was Andreev himself, though he did not have any direct proof.” Readers will recall that police argue that Memorial is connected to the paper, which is under investigation for extremism.

While there has been a lot of international condemnation of the Memorial raid, Russian academics were silent for the most part.  Until now. A group of 24 scholars affiliated with the Russian Academy of Sciences have sent a letter to President Medvedev, General Proscutor Chaika and St. Petersburg Prosecutor Zaitsev asking for the immediate return of Memorial’s archival materials.  There was some indication that the materials were to be returned last month.  That still hasn’t happened.