The Ministry of Justice demanded that the former head of Team 29, Ivan Pavlov, be deprived of his lawyer status

The St. Petersburg Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation sent to the Chamber of Advocates a submission on the deprivation of the status of the lawyer Ivan Pavlov, which will be considered by the qualification commission on October 18, writes Interfax.

Ivan Pavlov is the founder of the Team 29 human rights project. He is known as a defender of the accused in cases of espionage and treason. He spoke more than once about systemic problems in the investigation of these cases: in particular, that the investigation is being conducted in secrecy and does not allow the accused to defend themselves effectively. On April 30, he was detained on charges of disclosing secret data on the case of his client, journalist Ivan Safronov, who was arrested on charges of treason. In September, the lawyer announced that he had left Russia, now he is in Georgia.

The Ministry of Justice believes that Pavlov allegedly violated the law “On advocacy”, the Code of professional ethics of a lawyer and “thus undermined the credibility of him and the legal profession.” He is accused of evading participation in the investigative actions in the cases of Karina Turcan and Ivana Safronov, in drawing up extracts from the Safronov case and “putting pressure on the investigation and the court by unilateral submission of information to the media.”

In addition, the agency said that Team 29 and related organizations received foreign funding, and their publications had “signs of political activity by their authors, aimed, in particular, at undermining confidence in the authorities, courts and law enforcement agencies.”

Ivan Pavlov, in his explanation to the Chamber of Lawyers, did not agree with the accusations indicated by the Ministry of Justice. He noted that he did not violate the laws and the Code of Professional Ethics of a Lawyer, he missed the investigative actions in the cases of Tsurkan and Safronov for valid reasons, including illness. Extracts from Safronov’s file, according to him, he made from memory, because there was no state secret in their content.

The lawyer called the accusations of one-sided presentation of information far-fetched, and the materials of a critical or praiseworthy nature, as he pointed out, are not a sign of the political activity of its author. Pavlov also denied reports of foreign funding for Team 29. As he explained, back in 2020, he terminated any relationship with an undesirable Czech NGO, the Institute for Freedom of Information, recognized in the Russian Federation, in which he was president until 2016.

High-profile cases of lawyer Ivan Pavlov:

Team 29 was created in 2014. In July 2021, Roskomnadzor blocked the association’s website. The agency substantiated this by publishing materials from the Czech organization Společnost Svobody Informace (“Freedom of Information Society”), which was recognized as “undesirable” in Russia at the end of June. Two days later, the project announced the termination of the activities of “Team 29”, all media projects were closed and old materials were removed.


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