Canary Islands – a symbol of paradise on earth – became a hell for Vladimir Kokorev (Владимир Кокoрев) (65), and his family, who found themselves locked in jail for more than two years without a chance to stand a fair trial. A Spanish businessman of Russian origin Kokorev for 26 month had no opportunity to defend himself, his dignity and his business in absence of any accusations from behalf of Spanish prosecution.
“Sometimes I think they want him to die in jail to close the case” – says a long-standing family friend, Justino Obama Nve, a former minister of health of Equatorial Guinea, who came the whole way to Strasbourg in hope to find justice.
There was a presumption of guilt, not innocence, when Spanish judiciary locked Vladimir, his wife and son in Canary prison: ” My cousin learnt that he is going to become a father already in jail, and his daughter was born and raised for two years without him. After two years released from prison he came to her as a stranger”, – said Inna Kokorev, the niece of Vladimir, lamenting wasted time, and damages. She came to Strasbourg European Parliament Plenary to search for justice for her family. Expecting a child herself, Inna did not hesitate to make a journey, worrying about the multiple stokes plagued her uncle in cell. “He was already a cardiac patient before being locked up, but there his state of health aggravated” – Inna Kokorev said. “My uncle is not a young man, we, the family are very concerned about the situation, when he has no adequate medical treatment every day his life is at risk”. (Below: European Parliament, Strasbourg, Inna Kokorev interview in Russian).
The hearing hosted by Member of the European Parliament Alberto Cirillo (EPP, Italy), assembled experts and close ones of Kokorev discussing the situation of the businessman in a custody protracted for more than two years.
“The European Parliament (EP) is a house of people of Europe, house of citizens, whose rights we are to defend” – said Cirillo, underlining that within the divisions of power the EP has an obligation to guarantee the respect of human rights of every EU citizen. “We are not challenging the judges, but assessing the respect for a fair trial enshrined in Charter of fundamental rights”. Convinced in the supremacy of the rule of law, Cirillo raises concerns about Kokorevs case leaving too many questions, and too little clarity in actions of Spain’s judiciary. “We have heard of the case recently, and we will study it carefully”, he ensured, also underlining that there is a framework to scrutinise the complaint through relevant European Parliament’s committee.
The actions of the judiciary are also questioned by leading Spanish expert on corruption, money laundering and embezzlement Juan Carlos Galindo explaining that thorough analysis of Kokorev transactions did not reveal abnormality, or breach of existing legal framework for businesses: “When we talk about corruption, we mean public funds, not private ones Mr.Kokorev was dealing with”, the expert said.
Present at the hearing international press inquired about the possibility to address the European Court of Human Rights, the Kokorev family responded that they are looking into every legal possibility to re-establish justice, and respect of fundamental rights: “The ECHR might be an option, however we hope that the reason, and respect of rule of law will prevail without delay” – said Inna Kokorev, who is convinced that nobody ever should be exposed for such an injustice as her uncle.
MEP Fulvio Martusciello (EPP, Italy), hosting the event, proposed to create a working group to investigate human rights abuses in Canary Islands, and also compliance with Spanish judiciary, and Acquis Communautaire.