Following an external audit of the Department of Justice of the Sakhalin Region that revealed embezzlement of budgetary assets, criminal proceedings were instituted against the applicant, the head of the Department, on 25 February 2000. On 28 February 2000, the applicant retained a lawyer and shortly thereafter was arrested and taken into custody as a suspect. Her application to be released on bail was denied. On 1 March 2000, she was remanded in custody for fear that she might abscond or obstruct investigations by influencing witnesses – her former subordinates. On several occasions between 1 March 2000 and 6 February 2001 her detention was extended and appeals against the extensions denied on the basis that she might abscond or obstruct investigations. However, between 25 October 2000 and 4 November 2000, the applicant was held without the authorisation of a judge or prosecutor simply on the basis that her criminal case had been referred to court for trial.
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