8 Dec 2017 12:08

Supreme Court chair evades comment why Sechin did not testify in Ulyukayev's trial

MOSCOW. Dec 8 (Interfax) - Chief Justice of the Russian Supreme Court Vyacheslav Lebedev has declined to comment on whether the fact that Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin did not testify as a witness in the trial of former Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev and the fact that his testimony was not read out in court might have an effect on the former minister's sentence.

"A sentence has yet to be pronounced. I will not make any comment; I do not want my comment to be seen as pressure on the court," Lebedev said in response to a question from Interfax at a ceremony on Friday marking the 25th anniversary of arbitration courts.

"It is up to the presiding judge, not the Supreme Court chair, to evaluate the significance of the testimony and questioning of a witness," Lebedev said.

He said he was "totally" unaware of the case's details, "evidence in the proceeding and, among other things, the Sechin situation."

"It is possible to appeal the sentence, for instance, by means of a cassation appeal; in that case, the Russian Supreme Court will study the case materials and hold a relevant session," Lebedev said.