Russian Narcotics expert Olga Zelenina Jailed

Outcry over jailed Russian chemist:

Olga Zelenina

Olga Zelenina

Narcotics expert Olga Zelenina falsely accused of aiding drug trafficking, say supporters. A Russian chemist stands accused of complicity in organized drug trafficking, and is currently imprisoned in Moscow’s detention centre number 6, where she shares a cell with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of the prominent activist punk band Pussy Riot. But Zelenina’s supporters say she is the victim of a monstrous miscarriage of justice, and has done nothing more than provide an expert opinion on the opiate content of a consignment of poppy seeds. They are pessimistic that a court hearing scheduled for 24 September will result in her immediate release. Zelenina heads a laboratory at the Penza Agricultural Institute, some 600 kilometres southeast of Moscow, one of the best-equipped chemical-analysis labs in Russia. She is a specialist in the biology of hemp and poppy, and is a sought-after expert in legal cases involving narcotics produced from these plants.

“Surely you cannot put a scientist in jail just because you don’t like her opinion?”

In September 2011, the defence attorneys of Sergey Shilov, a Russian businessman under investigation by the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FDCS), asked her to provide an expert opinion on the amount of opiates that could possibly be extracted from 42 metric tonnes of food poppy seeds that Shilov had imported from Spain in 2010. Cultivation of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) has been banned in Russia since 1987. But the import of poppy seeds for use in foods, such as cakes and bread, is legal — as long as they are 100% free of narcotic opium alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. Poppy seeds do not contain these alkaloids, but other parts of the plant that do, such as poppy straw, can become mixed into shipments as a result of poor harvesting practices. In her expert report, Zelenina stated that it is technically impossible to fully eliminate such impurities from poppy seeds, as Russian laws require. She also wrote that the seized seeds did not contain any deliberately added narcotic compounds, says Natalia Andreeva, Zelenina’s Moscow-based lawyer. On the basis of gas-chromatography and mass-spectrometry measurements of samples analysed in her lab, Zelenina calculated the overall morphine and codeine content in the poppy-seed consignment in question to be 0.00069% and 0.00049%, respectively. In such low concentrations, opiates can only be identified or extracted in well-equipped analytical chemistry labs, she wrote. This opinion apparently failed to satisfy the prosecutors,” says Irina Levontina, a linguist at the Russian Language Institute in Moscow, who is frequently heard as an expert in libel and drug lawsuits. “It has become quite common for Russian prosecutors to accuse independent experts if they don’t like their opinions. It can be downright dangerous for experts to appear in court.” In the early morning of 15 August, a group of FDCS officials accompanied by masked and armed members of a special police unit entered Zelenina’s home in Lunino, a town in the district of Penza. They arrested her and took her to Moscow, where she was charged with aiding and abetting attempted drug trafficking by an organized group. On 20 August, a judge at Moscow’s Zyuzino District Court ordered her detention until 15 October, says Andreeva. “Olga Zelenina has been asked for her honest scientific expert opinion and is now kept in jail for no reason other than having provided just that,” says Mikhail Gelfand, a biologist at the Institute for Information Transmission Problems in Moscow. “I have read her report, and to me it looks absolutely reasonable. There is no justification at all to keep her in detention.” Olga has done nothing else than her duty as a scientist and as a citizen,” adds Andreeva. “Surely you cannot put a scientist in jail just because you don’t like her opinion?” A Moscow city court will decide on Monday whether she will be released from detention until an as-yet unscheduled trial date.

 

Woman falsely claimed rape Jailed!

Woman who falsely claimed she was raped by three men because she regretted having sex with them jailed for two years

Woman who falsely claimed she was raped by three men because she regretted having sex with them jailed for two years

Woman who falsely claimed she was raped by three men because she regretted having sex with them jailed for two years

A woman who cried rape because she regretted having sex with three men at a drunken orgy has been jailed for two years for her ‘wicked’ lies. Rosie Dodd, 20, had been out drinking when she met the men, aged 25, 23, and 21, and started groping one of them on a bus on the way home. She had sex with them one after the other, but after telling a friend she felt ‘dirty’ she lied to police that she had been raped. The men, two of them students, then suffered a ‘nightmare’ involving intimate examinations and being locked up in cells. But after police became  concerned about inconsistencies in Dodd’s account, she admitted the encounters had been consensual. Last night she was put behind bars. On a social networking website, she has left displayed numerous photographs of herself with a string of men, apparently taken as trophies of her conquests. Jailing Dodd at Nottingham crown court, Judge John Milmo told her: ‘None of these three lads had seen the inside of a police station before. ‘They may well have been wrongly convicted if these charges had gone to trial. It was ten days before police managed to talk to you – and you admitted your allegations had been completely untrue. I am told, from your perspective, it was easier to tell lies rather than tell the truth. ‘I have no idea why you decided to make these wicked allegations.’ Dodd went out drinking in Nottingham city centre in June, downing eight vodkas and ending up in a casino. There she met one of her numerous ex-boyfriends and through him met the trio. She and the three men took a bus to a house in the Clifton area of the city, and  during the journey she began groping one of them. In the house she willingly had sex with all three. But afterwards she texted a friend saying that she felt ‘dirty’. With that in mind she claimed to police that all three of her partners had raped her. The men, who have not been named, were arrested on suspicion of rape and spent a total of 50 hours in custody before being released on bail. After further enquiries police grew suspicious and, when challenged, Dodd admitted she had consensual sex with the men and made up the claims because she felt regret at sleeping with them. But police said Dodd, of Nottingham, who is listed as in a relationship on a social media site, showed no remorse. She was charged with perverting the course of justice and pleaded guilty at a previous hearing. The court heard that one of her victims had recently graduated from university – but what should have been a time for celebration became a ‘nightmare’. Another victim, who was  also a student, said a medical investigation he was forced to go through was ‘awful’, and told of his embarrassment at having to detail the consensual sex he had had. One of the men said he feared his plans to work with children in America would be wrecked by the episode, although police claimed any trace of the investigation would be wiped from their files. None of the men had any criminal record.