Criminal cases against Tesak
It seems that Maxim Martsinkevich, better known as Tesak (meaning “backsword”, sometimes translated as "Slasher"), may soon face a third conviction by the Russian courts. The 29-year-old nationalist, under arrest since late January, has a long history of using the Internet as a tool for inciting to ethnic and social hatred.
Lately, Martsinkevich's business has been revolving around the movement “Occupy Pedophilia”, which he created soon after going out of prison and is now spread out throughout the country. Officially targeting pedophiles, members of this movement are known for in fact luring homosexual men to fake dates and for abusing, beating and torturing them, while recording these scenes on video. The videos are then posted on the Internet via Tesak's page on the social network site VKontakte. Martsinkevich' and his friends' faces can be clearly identified on most videos which were posted in the past two years, but none of them has so far been brought to justice for this.
Rather, it is another set of videos that caused Tesak's current problems with justice. In September 2013, he posted three videos on VKontakte. Two were published on 14 September: “Kick the churki [i.e., people from the Caucasus and Central Asia] out! Pre-election campaign!” and “Tesak on the movie 'Stalingrad' and the situation in Biryulyovo”. The third one was released on 28 September and was called “Tesak on the movie 'Okolofutbola'”. According to different experts who later examined the videos, they “demonstrate skinhead ideology” and contain statements aimed at inciting ethnic hatred.
In November 2013, Martsinkevich announced on VKontakte that he had left Russia for fear of being prosecuted. Right-radical websites spread the information that a criminal case against him had in fact been instigated under Part 1 of Art. 282 of the Russian Criminal Code – incitement to ethnic and social hatred. A document supposedly showing a prosecutor's notice against Martsinkevich was used as a proof, but its authenticity is doubtful. Nonetheless, on 13 December 2013 a Moscow court ordered Martsinkevich's arrest in absentia. He is charged for breaching Paragraph 'a', Part 2 of Art. 282: incitement to ethnic hatred with the threat of the use of violence.
Martsinkevich was arrested on 17 January by the Cuban police in Havana, where he was staying at a hotel, after the Russian authorities launched an international search operation via Interpol. Now that Tesak is back in Moscow after having being extradited from Cuba, his arrest has been extended to 10 April as a measure of prevention. The preliminary investigation of his case has already been completed – and the videos have been declared to be extremist by experts – but Martsinkevich and his lawyers asked for a second expertise of the videos' content. According to him, the investigators, when choosing the institution conducting the expertise, did not take into account his lawyers' opinion. The defense also argued that the experts were not qualified enough.
Martsinkevich promised to go on an unlimited hunger strike if his demand concerning a new examination by an independent expert was refused.