Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Court refuses request to delay Aksana Panova trial

A Yekaterinburg court refused a request to delay the trial of former local Ura.ru editor-in-chief Aksana Panova on Monday.

Panova faces up to 15 years in prison on charges of extortion, embezzlement and money laundering during her time as editor of Ura.ru news agency. Panova requested a postponement of her trial until Aug. 19, saying her attorney would not be able to appear in court until that time, RIA Novosti reports.

The court, however, rejected her request on the grounds that Panova would have access to a court-appointed lawyer prior to the arrival of her defense attorney. Prior to the court's decision on Monday, two of Panova's lawyers failed to appear in court on other occasions.

Panova alleges that Ural area officials have falsified all major charges against her and that the legal system is acting in relation for Ura.ru's criticism of the regional administration. In July, Panova claimed guilty to tax offenses, according to RIA Novosti.