By Martin Banks
EU Political Report (19.02.2020) – https://bit.ly/2SVZwfQ – Respected businessman Vladimir Kokorev has been kept in “abusively” long pretrial detention and, though finally released, is still summoned to court every week despite repeated emergency hospitalization.
Since his release in 2018 from nearly 2.5 years of pretrial detention in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), the health of the retired 65-year old Spanish businessman of Jewish and Russian heritage has continued to worsen.
During his detention from September 2015 until mid January 2018, Vladimir Kokorev struggled in prison with his health, but failed to get appropriate medical treatment, according to the Brussels based Human Rights NGO, Human Rights Without Frontiers.
The one time he was taken to a hospital, he remained handcuffed and the armed guards accompanying him refused to remove his manacles, even when it was requested by a nurse. His lawyer was unsuccessful in getting his release on medical grounds. Shortly after his release, he had to undergo a serious heart surgery.
Despite his worsening health, the investigating magistrate Ana Isabel de Vega Serrano, who ordered his arrest and pretrial imprisonment more than 5 years ago on vague charges of “money laundering”, insists that Mr. Kokorev appear weekly before the Court and personally attend formal hearings. His son, Igor, denounces that it is “unheard of that a person in his condition is forced to appear before a Court for mere formalities, that might as well be carried out at his home”.
Igor Kokorev explained to this website the impact the trauma is having on his family.
Speaking exclusively to EU Political Report, he said, “My father’s health is very bad and it’s getting worse. He has a heart condition, constant chest pains, sometimes even while resting, severe hypertension and diabetes. He can barely move around the one-bedroom apartment my parents are living at, he depends on my mother for everything.
“According to doctors he has 30% of not surviving until the end of the year, 80% of passing away within the next 10 years. That provided that his condition does not get worse, but they can’t help but acknowledge that it will, the only question is how fast and how worse it gets. A substantial risk factor is stress, and he is under a lot of stress from the pretrial proceeding, especially worrying about what is going to happen to his family.
And the Canarian judges are making a show of how they don’t care. Their position, which they make abundantly clear every chance they get, is that there is no health issue worthy of consideration. The same way they don’t want to acknowledge that they made a terrible mistake relying on shoddy and dishonest police work, when we have already shown that some of the evidence was outright fabricated by the two investigators in charge.”
The most recent example was an episode that took place just a few weeks ago when he was ordered to appear in court while clearly in very bad health.
His son said, “The Court required my father to appear before the judge though he was in no condition to go anywhere. We asked the Judge to just go with the clerk to his home and do whatever she has to do there. She told our lawyer that if my father doesn’t come right now, she will have him brought to the Court in handcuffs and thrown back into prison. It was no idle threat: a few days later our court agent received a court order issue by the judge to have my father arrested and brought into the Court. We had no choice but give my father an extra dose of medication to lower his blood pressure and take him to the Court.
“We went with him alone, because my mother could not take it. It was surreal. It was obvious that my father, sitting on that wheelchair, holding one hand on his chest and from time to time inhaling shots of nitroglycerine out of a spray, was not understanding anything of what was going on. Then they made him sign papers, and they actually made a point of putting there that he said he understood everything. I protested and the Judge literally told me “Ah, it’s OK, let’s take it out, it’s not going to help you anyway””.
He said, “After the hearing I took my father to the hospital because he had chest pains and his blood pressure shot up, despite all the extra medication he had taken. Once again, they had to do a scan to rule out a heart attack. But as he did not actually die, or have a stroke, or a heart attack, as far the Judge is concerned everything is fine. My father is now again at the hospital and he will be under observation for at least a week.”