On February 26, Alisa fell two floors down a stairwell in the building in Veliky Novgorod where her grandmother lives. An 11-year-old boy, a friend of a neighbor’s son, witnessed the fall. The boy allegedly stood on the landing one floor above; he reported to the neighbors that he had seen "an older girl push a younger one down". Antonina claims it was an accident.
See versions of the events as seen by the prosecution and the defence below.
The mother and daughter were rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. A medical examination revealed that Alisa sustained a concussion and some damage to her jaw, lost four teeth, and had minor bruises. During the examination, the police - promptly called by the neighbours - had Antonina make a written testimony of the events.
On March 16, Antonina was visited by a police officer who brought her official summons to testify as a witness in an inquiry into Alisa's fall. According to Kirill, the officer also said that Antonina's actions constitute a corpus delicti under Article 105 of CC-RF ("Murder") (Russian)
On March 18, Antonina's defence was taken up by Mr. Konstantin Pakin (Russian). A former criminal investigator, Pakin is known for his defence of one Yevgeny Mikhailov charged with the murder of Mr. Dmitry Balashov, a once-famous Russian writer (Russian). According to Kirill, Pakin only agreed to take the case on strict non-disclosure terms and intimated he would drop it immediately if it were to attract too much public attention.
On March 19, the MCI Kolodkin took testimony of Antonina and Kirill.
On March 20, on Pakin's advice, Antonina underwent an independent polygraph ("lie detector") test (Russian).
On March 22, the MCI officially opened a criminal investigation under Articles 30.3 ("Intentional actions (inaction) by the person concerned, directed expressly towards the commission of a crime") and 105.1 ("Murder") of CC-RF
On March 23, a member of the Public Chamber of Russian Federation, Mr. Aleksey Chadayev, filed an official request with the Office of the Novgorod City Public Prosecutor, for attention of Novgorod City Prosecutor Mr. Andrey Yefimov. In the request, Chadayev demanded that all those case materials not covered by official investigation secrecy be delivered to the Public Chamber Committee on Relations with Regions and Police Authorities.
On March 26, the President of Union of Writers of Russia, Mr. Valery Ganichev, wrote a letter to the Governor of Novgorod Region, Mr. Mikhail Prusak. The letter stated that Antonina and Kirill have a healthy relationship and asked the governor to pay special attention to the case. Ganichev subsequently received a reply from the Novgorod City Hall that his letter had been forwarded to the Office of the Novgorod City Public Prosecutor.
On March 27, the MCI filed a request with the Novgorod Office of Children's Services demanding that "the child be taken away with immediate effect under Article 77 of the Family Code of Russia", attaching a copy of case-opening decision to the said request. According to Kirill Martynov (Russian), he then called the Office of Children's Services personally and said the following: "Fyodorova has confessed to the attempted murder of her daughter. Take the child away".
The same day, Pakin dropped the case because the involvement of the Public Chamber made it public (Russian).
According to an anonymous source in the Office of the Novgorod City Public Prosecutor quoted by A. Letyagin, a journalist, “that same day the girl was taken from her mother by the Office of Children's Services and delivered to her other relatives” (Russian). Kirill Martynov denied that the said event ever took place (Russian).
On March 30, the Office of Children's Services received the MCI’s request and attempted to take Alisa away without having procured either a court decision or a decision by the city authorities.
On April 6, Antonina received an official summons to appear at the Office of the Novgorod City Public Prosecutor on April 9. The same day, Mr. Vladimir Baydyuk, another investigator turned lawyer, dropped the case, declaring that Antonina’s guilt is, as he sees it, evident beyond a reasonable doubt. Kirill and Antonina then found a new lawyer who agreed to take on the case.
On April 9, Antonina appeared at the Office of the Novgorod City Public Prosecutor to testify . According to Kirill Martynov, the interrogators "threatened" her with changing of CC-RF article under which she was to be prosecuted from the original Article 105.1 to Article 105.2, calling the latter “a death penalty article” (Russian).
On April 13, Antonina signed a written agreement not to leave the City of Novgorod.
On April 18, Antonina was subjected to a complex psychological and psychiatric examination, conducted by psychiatrists and an expert psychologist of Regional Psychoneurological Clinic of Novgorod. The examination decision was that Antonina does not suffer from any kind of psychological disorder now, nor did she suffer from any during the events leading to her being prosecuted, (Russian).
On April 19, officials presented Antonina with the charges under Article 30.3 and Article 105.2, item c) (“Murder of a person who is known by the killer to be in a helpless state”) of the CC-RF.
At 4:30 PM on the same day, the Novgorod City Court issued an official decision for the measure of restriction; it was incarceration, as the MCI demanded in his request. The MCI motivated his incarceration request by writing that Antonina “is charged with an especially grave crime, is currently unemployed, is constantly in contact with her underage daughter, and is actually living on the same premises with her, so that she is in position to commit other acts of violence involving her child. Furthermore, the gravity of the charges is such that one can reasonably suspect the accused of an intent to escape from the authorities and thus to obstruct the justice" (Russian).
However, the Article 108 (“Taking into custody”) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Russia stipulates that the incarceration is only to be chosen as a measure of restriction “if it is impossible to apply a different, milder measure of restriction”.
Antonina was arrested the same day.
In the evening, Kirill Martynov published the first public notice about the case in his LiveJournal blog (Russian).
On April 20, comments in Kirill’s blog and blogs of his family friends hit the top list of the Russian search engine Yandex, which enumerates the most popular Russian blog posts on the basis of the number of links given to these posts in other people's blogs. Other blogs published links to the latter.
That same day, Regnum, a Russian news agency, used the phrase “Novgorod case”, referring to the case in question, for the first time in the history of the case.
A LiveJournal community novgorod_delo was created. A popular journalist, TV personality and blogger Maxim Kononenko stopped running his political anecdote blog. Kononenko replaced the usual messages on the blog with information about the case (Russian). Many other public figures published their comments on the case online. Among them are Kholmogorov and Chadayev (, (Russian)).
The defence filed a complaint ((Russian)) against Antonina’s incarceration at the Novgorod Regional Court under Article 108.11 (right to appeal decisions on selection of measures of restriction) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Russia. The court hearing of the complaint took place on May 8 (see below).
On April 21, the NTV TV channel aired a feature called “Particularly dangerous” on organized crime in Novgorod and its connections to the administration of Novgorod Region. This broadcast initiated a discussion of the issue “Novgorod is Russia’s national preserve for crime” ((Russian)) as part of Antonina’s defence campaign.
On April 22, a Novgorod City Duma deputy, Aleksandr Deyna, sent a request for information to the Novgorod City Prosecutor Yefimov.
The same day, news about Antonina’s arrest began to appear in various online media and other news agencies; the headlines were often misleading, stating that the mother attempted to kill the child. Kirill asked many of his journalist colleagues to replace the existing headlines with neutral ones. In some cases, he threatened journalists with lawsuits against them ((Russian)). Some members of Novgorod_delo community also monitor news about the case (, (Russian)).
On April 23, Yegor Kholmogorov appeared on the "Mayak" radio station with a report on the case ((Russian)). On the same day, “National News Agency” published an article by Aleksey Koryakov, a journalist. Koryakov supported the point of view of the prosecution and accused the LiveJournal community of “attempts to pressure the jury” ((Russian)).
On April 24, a Russian State Duma deputy A.V.Chuyev was presented with a letter describing the case. The defence signed a contract with a new lawyer, Konstantin Rybalov, of the law firm “Barshchevsky and partners” ((Russian)).
On April 25, an official reply of Kolodkin to the deputy Deyna’s request for information ((Russian); see also next section) arrived in the mail. The New Novgorod Newspaper published a page-size article by Aleksey Koryakov which, again, supported in every detail the point of view of the prosecution ((Russian)). Later Koryakov apologized to Antonina and published another, more accurate article ((Russian)).
On April 26, the defence lawyer filed an official appeal to the director of the prison where Antonina was incarcerated. The appeal focused on the complaints about the poor state of her health ((Russian)). Kirill Martynov published a dummy for a letter to the Office of Prosecutor General of Russia in his blog. Many people subsequently used this dummy to send letters.
The novgorod_delo community launched a campaign to give support to Antonina, which ran in late April – early May ((Russian)). People all over the world sent numerous letters, telegrams and faxes to the prison.
On April 27, the defence lawyer filed a request at the Office of Novgorod Region Public Prosecutor. The request demanded to repeal the incarceration decision under Article 110 (“Cancellation or Change of a Measure of Restriction”) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Russia. Furthermore, the request asked to close the criminal case as there is no corpus delicti in Antonina’s actions ((Russian)).
On April 28, a press conference organized by Maxim Kononenko, Aleksey Chadayev and Kirill Martynov took place in Novgorod (text and video(Russian)).
On April 29, a website on the Novgorod Case appeared on the Internet (www.novgoroddelo.ru)
On May 2, the Public Chamber Committee for Protection of the Rights of Children publishes a statement on the Novgorod Case ((Russian)).
On May 4, the investigator has the defence lawyer Rybalov sign an agreement of non-disclosure of pre-investigation information ((Russian)). The investigators conduct investigative actions in the house where the original event took place. Antonina participates in these actions.
Kirill Martynov states publicly that “the Novgorod attorneys who have been working with us bear a large part of responsibility for the situation that we have now.” . ((Russian)).
On May 5, “NTV” TV-channel devotes a part of its evening news broadcast to the case (text and video in Russian).
On May 6, a Novgorod NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights” publishes a statement about “Novgorod case” ((Russian)). In the evening, another lawyer joins the defence team ((Russian)).
On May 7, the Novgorod Case becomes the subject of the “Morning page” broadcast on “Echo of Moscow” radio station ("Echo" website transcript, LJ message(Russian)). In the evening, Antonina was released from the prison after signing an agreement not to leave the City of Novgorod; the reason for the release was a decision Novgorod City Prosecutor Yefimov ((Russian)). Kirill Martynov wrote in his blog about Antonina’s health. According to Kirill, she suffered from a severe cold and acute heart pain while in prison. Upon exiting, she had some gray hair. Antonina also lost weight and weighed only 36 kilos at the time when Kirill reported on her health.
On May 8, Novgorod Regional Court repealed the Novgorod City Court decision that put Antonina in prison; the Regional Court decision stated that the City Court did not have sufficient reasons for changing the original measure of restriction for incarceration, and that it committed breaches of the Criminal Procedure Code of Russia in effectuating this change (, (Russian)).
On the same day, new messages appeared in Antonina’s blog ((Russian)). She told her readers that it was now illegal for her to visit Alisa without a presence of an official representative of the child (that is, Alisa’s father and Antonina’s ex-husband).
On May 13, Antonina published online a video in which she addressed the LiveJournal users who supported her. Her first interview after the release is also published (text and video(Russian)).
On May 16, the defence filed a complaint at the Office of the Novgorod City Public Prosecutor, appealing against the decision that forbade Antonina to visit her daughter. The same day, the First channel TV channel airs a program entitled “Let Them Talk,” one part of which dealt with the “Novgorod case” (Kirill's LJ message, video(Russian)).
A Novgorod City Court session was scheduled for May 25 to hear a defence complaint against Kolodkin's actions, but it was postponed because of Antonina’s absence (health reasons). The complaint concerned the investigator’s denial to join a number of defence’s documents and statements to the case. This denial was repealed a day before, on May 24, by a decision of the office of Novgorod City Public Prosecutor ((Russian)).
On May 30, the Novgorod City Court issued a decision on the complaint. The Court refused to consider the investigator’s actions to be illegal, alluding to the May 24 decision of the Office of Novgorod City Public Prosecutor, which, in the court’s opinion, made void the matter at issue of the complaint ((Russian)).
On May 31, Antonina received a letter from the office of Novgorod City Public Prosecutor with a decision that repealed the interdict to visit her daughter ((Russian)).
On June 4, the defence filed a moral damage suit against the Office of Novgorod City Public Prosecutor, at the Novgorod City Court. On the same day, Antonina underwent an outpatient psychological examination (, (Russian)).
On June 8, Kolodkin, while on an official business trip to Moscow, attempted to approach and arrange interviews with those witnesses for the defence who live in Moscow. In the next few days, he collected the evidence from witnesses (, (Russian)).
On June 9, the defence filed a request challenging the investigator and demanding an inquiry into his actions, which were suspicions of constituting a fraud (use of forged documents;, (Russian)).
On the same day, an investigation team was officially formed in Novgorod ((Russian)).
On June 13, the investigation team conducted searches in Antonina’s room and apartment (, (Russian)). The investigators took Antonina’s and Alisa’s medical documents, an official report on the results of Antonina’s polygraph test (made and signed by Mrs. Olga Belyushina, an expert in polygraph detector data interpreting), Antonina’s poems, her letters from the prison, empty floppy disks, etc. The defence fears that evidence so collected may be tampered with ((Russian)).
On June 14, Aleskey Chadayev published a LiveJournal account of his interview with Kolodkin ((Russian)).
On June 18 and June 20, the official responses of the Office of Novgorod Region Public Prosecutor to defence’s complaints were received in the mail. The dates of the reposes were June 7 and June 9. The replies state that “the inquiry revealed there no breaches of law were committed during the investigation” and that the investigation team “is considering all versions of the event, including the version concerning an accident” (, (Russian)). Kirill Martynov published a message telling his readers about his intention to file a complaint against the replies at the office of the Prosecutor General of Russia. The complaint is to contain the list of the breaches of law committed by the investigator and also the list of his other actions that constitute a corpus delicti under several articles of CC-RF ((Russian)).
On June 25, the Novgorod City Court turned down the moral damage suit, indicating a formal reason: the suit papers did not mention the home address of the investigator Kolodkin. On the same day, the pre-investigation was prolonged until July 22 ((Russian)).
On June 26, Antonina received a letter with a written refusal of a temporary permission for her to leave Novgorod to Moscow in order to take the entry exams into Moscow State University. The refusal bears the date of June 24, while the application for the permission was filed on June 18 (Antonina's LJ message on refusal, refusal image part 1 refusal image part 2, Antonina's LJ message about application(Russian)).
On June 27, the mail delivered another refusal: this time, the refusal of the challenge to the investigator, dated June 18 (refusal image part 1, refusal image part 2, refusal image part 3, refusal image part 4(Russian)).
On July 4, Kirill and Antonina got married in Novgorod. Antonina took her husband’s last name (, (Russian)).
On July 13, Kolodkin began a series of attempts to interrogate Alisa. Over the next few days, he sent several summons to Alisa’s maternal and paternal grandmothers (, (Russian)).
On July 17, the Novgorod City Prosecutor Yefimov announced his intention to re-examine the case and re-issue the charges against Antonina. On the same day, the term of the pre-investigation was prolonged by another month ((Russian)).
On July 27, a new message in novgorod_delo community told the readers that the protective railing from the scene of the event was removed by a saw and taken to the office of the investigator for an investigative experiment with Alisa’s participation ((Russian)). The Martynovs refused to allow Alisa to participate in an experiment or interrogation, fearing that the child will be adversely affected by the experience. The Children's Services supported their refusal ((Russian)).
On July 31, the investigator issued a decision to arrange an inpatient psychiatric examination of Antonina on the premises of the Moscow Serbsky Institute for Social and Forensic Psychiatry and passed this decision to the Novgorod City Court for approval. The term of the investigation was prolonged one more time, until September 22. The defence believes that the very fact that the investigator calls for a re-examination qualifies as unequivocal evidence that it is impossible to prove that Alisa’s fall was an attempt at murder ((Russian)).
The court hearing of the said decision was scheduled for August 1. However, it was called off because of the absence of the defence’s lawyer, who received the summons too late. The session was rescheduled for August 13. The court officials attempted to bar the press from attending the session (, (Russian)). Antonina filed a complaint against the investigator’s late issue of summons to her lawyer under Article 125 (“Court Procedure for Considering Complaints”) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Russia ((Russian)). This complaint was heard by the Novgorod City Court on August 9 (see below).
On August 3, a Russian State Duma deputy Yevgeny Royzman received a reply ((Russian)) from the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia to his inquiry, dated July 7. The reply states, among other matters, that Kolodkin was punished for breaches of the Criminal Procedure Code of Russia articles concerning the arrest of the suspect (by way of his quarterly bonus for 3rd quarter 2007 being called off). The reply also states that the Novgorod City Prosecutor and his deputy were reprimanded officially for their lack of due prosecutor supervision.
On August 9, the Novgorod City Court rejected Antonina’s complaint against the investigator’s actions (, (Russian)).
On August 13, the Novgorod City Court approved the decision of the Office of Novgorod City Public Prosecutor to arrange an inpatient psychiatric examination. The defence planned to appeal this decision at the Novgorod Regional Court (, (Russian)). The Russian TV company Triada sent its team to film the session, but the court officials did not allow journalists to enter the court ((Russian)).
On August 14, the Head of Public Chamber Committee for Protection of Children’s Rights O.V. Zykov filed a request at the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, demanding that the Prosecutor General Yu. Ya. Chaika inquire into the legality of the latest decisions of the investigation and other issues pertaining to the prosecution of Antonina Martynova (letter image part 1, letter image part 1, story(Russian)).
On August 22, Antonina and the defence found out that the case is now in the hands of another investigator, A.V.Yashin ((Russian)).
On August 27, Yashin met with the accused. He insisted that Antonina should submit to several medical tests in preparation for her medical evaluation at the Serbsky Institute. Yashin stated this in spite of the fact that the court decision for the hospitalization was not legally in force and was yet to be appealed in Novgorod Regional Court (, (Russian)). The Office of Novgorod City Public Prosecutor threatened Antonina with another incarceration if she refuses to submit to testing ((Russian)).
On September 6, the investigator Yashin releases the case to the Office of Novgorod City Public Prosecutor, which then delivers it to the newly created Investigation Committee ((Russian)).
On September 7, Kirill Martynov files a request at the Office of Novgorod City Public Prosecutor, demanding to initiate criminal proceedings against the Novgorod City Prosecutor A.A. Yefimov, his deputy D.S. Mikhailov, and V.V. Kolodkin under Article 299 (attempt to knowingly prosecute an innocent person) of CC-RF ((Russian)).
On September 10, the name of the current investigator of the Novgorod case, Dina Palchuk, was announced ((Russian)).
On September 11, the Novgorod Regional Court refused the appeal against the Novgorod City Court decision to conduct an inpatient psychiatric examination of Antonina at Moscow Serbsky Institute, thus upholding the decision (, (Russian)). On the same day, Maksim Kononenko stopped updating his blog again, replacing recent messages with an update on the recent turn of events in the Novgorod case.
On September 12 Antonina arrived in Moscow in order to undergo an inpatient examination ((Russian)). The examination was postponed and was due to start on September 17 ((Russian)).
The Head of Public Chamber Committee for Protection of Children’s Rights O.V. Zykov published a statement on the recent developments in the case entitled, "It began as a farce, but now it is turning into a tragedy" ((Russian)).
On September 17 Antonina arrived at the Moscow Serbsky Institute in order to undergo an inpatient examination(, (Russian)).
On October 11 the examination was finished, Antonina returned home and met her daughter .
On December 17 Kirill Martynov appealed to the media. The next day Antonina was supposed to obtain refiled charges.
On December 20 the investigation was formally ended. Antonina obtained the final charges. .
On December 21 Antonina Martynova and her defence started to examine case before forwarding it to court. Later Kirill insisted that the case lacks any evidence of the motive and the video of the boy's testimony filmed in May 2007 is significantly different than the drawn statement. He also claimed that the latter were obtained with leading questions and the investigator Palchuk denied coping the video testimony. .
On December 21–24 the community "Novgorod case" organized the petition drive. The petition asked the Russian President to direct the attention of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation (General'naya Procuratura) to the situation around the case and to enforce the checking of the process violation mentioned in the petition.. According to the replies which arrived in January 2008, some petitions were forwarded to the Novgorod Regional Prosecutor office (regional procuratura), some- to the Prosecutor General's Office.
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