Harm to a hunter’s health as a result of a predator attack cannot in itself preclude illegal hunting of wild animals. This was pointed out by a lawyer, a specialist in criminal law Alexander Khaminsky on Tuesday, February 14.
This is how he commented to Izvestiya about the incident with the attack of the Amur tiger on hunters in the Khabarovsk Territory, which ended in the death of the animal. According to the expert, the investigation may establish that the shooter acted in a state of emergency, but such a decision would be procedurally incorrect.
“The very fact of finding the corpse of a supposedly Red Book tiger that died a violent death is the basis for initiating a criminal case under Art. 258.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Illegal hunting of wild animals listed in the Red Book”. To issue an appropriate decision, the investigator will need a protocol of inspection of the scene of the incident and the conclusion of a specialist that the dead animal is the Ussuri (Amur) tiger, that is, a specially protected representative of the animal world, ”Khaminsky specified.
At the same time, he stressed that the case should be initiated precisely on the fact, and not against specific persons. During the production of a preliminary investigation, it is possible to appoint and conduct such investigative actions as the interrogation of witnesses, an investigative experiment, a forensic examination, and others. Only within the framework of the pre-investigation check carried out in accordance with Art. 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, it is unlikely that it will be possible to establish in full the circumstances of the incident. And if, as a result of the investigation, a reasonable conclusion is made about the innocence of the persons involved in the incident, the criminal case will be terminated.
“For me, as a lawyer, what matters most is the evidence provided for by criminal law, and not the tone and conclusions set out in newspaper publications. However, I assume that the investigation will go the other way. As a result of the pre-investigation check, it can be established that the shooter acted in a state of emergency, which is not a crime by virtue of Art. 37 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, ”said the lawyer.
In his opinion, such a decision would be procedurally incorrect and adopted for the purpose of procedural economy. As Khaminsky pointed out, causing harm to the health of a hunter in itself cannot exclude illegal hunting of wild animals.
“Law enforcement officers should find out what the hunters were doing in the taiga hundreds of kilometers from inhabited places, whether they have a hunting permit, whether this corner of the taiga is a reserve or a specially protected natural area with a different status, whether corpses of other animals were found in the gatehouse. The decision taken in view of the obviousness, in this case, cannot be considered lawful and justified. In any case, in this case it is extremely important to hear the position of the environmental prosecutor,” the lawyer concluded.
The incident occurred in a winter hut near the village of Arsenyevo. The tiger broke the window and attacked the 19-year-old hunter. His friend shot the animal. The injured man was hospitalized with serious back injuries and is in critical condition.