In Dedanin’s words, his house was broken into when he was about to leave for the garage. The criminals took him in back at gunpoint and made enter the house. At that moment, Dedanin’s wife and the friend were inside. They duck-taped the wife and the friend’s mouth and eyes.
But the businessman was able to get free.
Dedanin said that when his hands were being bound he clench his fist to increase his hands and leave some free space. When he managed to release himself, fighting broke out. Dedanin grabbed two carving-knives to defend off his attackers. “I though I would grab the knives, and they go on the run, but they started shooting. There was a misfire.” The owner of the house said.
That’s when he attacked both home invaders, inflicting multiple stab wounds and killing both of them.
Investigators charged him with murder due to the use of “excess force in self-defense.” Then something interesting happened.
The prosecutor’s office conducted a check and did not agree with the findings of the investigators who established that Dedanin exceeded the limits of necessary self-defense. Since the robbers created “a real danger to the life of the defending person,” the entrepreneur’s actions were recognized as permissible. In particular, the men who broke into the businessman’s house threatened him and his wife with weapons and tried to knock the knife out of his hand.
It’s refreshing to see a fundamental right to self defense being recognized in a court in Russia or just about any court outside the United States.
The bill introduces changes to Russian legislation on justifiable self-defense. According to the bill, hurting an assailant in the event of intrusion of defender’s place of residence is not to be considered a crime if there was a threat of violence against the defender or another person. Also, if an assailant knowingly threatens to inflict violence against a person in an incapable condition, these circumstances would not constitute exceeding reasonable level of self-defense.
I have not been able determine the fate of the above bill. The prosecutor in the Dedanin case, appears to be using that definition in the law. It would be nice to think that’s the final determination in the case.
In the old Soviet era, a Russian emigre told me of a case involving a dispute over an apartment in the city of Novosibirsk. The judge made the correct decision, and the emigre was pleased with the result.
Shortly after, a person the emigre relied on as a “fixer” (someone with contacts to get things done in official Soviet circles), talked to him, and said he needed to give the judge 500 rubles.
Why? The emigre asked. The judge made the correct decision. Because if you do not make the bribe, the fixer said, he will hear the case again, and this time, rule against you.
Far more countries operate under systems where “justice” is purchased with bribes rather than determined by an independent judiciary. Russia may be moving in that direction. Rule of law is a hard-won aspect of civilization. It’s fragile and unnatural. It has to be cultivated, preserved, and constantly fought for.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.