MOSCOW, September 14 (RAPSI) — Russia's Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a woman who stabbed her partner with a knife saying that it was justified self-defense.

The Court clarified that justified self-defense is defined by the Criminal Code as the actions aimed at protecting the personality and rights of the defender or other persons protected by law, of the interests of society or the state from a socially dangerous assault, if such an assault is associated with violence dangerous to the life of the defender or another person, or with an imminent threat of such violence.

According to the case materials, in the course of a quarrel initiated by the woman’s partner he attacked her in the presence of a child by inflicting blows at her body and pressuring her throat, what resulted in choking, while she was cutting bread with a knife; the defendant pushed the man away from herself and used this knife to stab him in the chest area. 

A court of first instance qualified these actions as deliberate infliction of grievous bodily harm, dangerous to the victim’s life, committed with the use of objects used as weapons and considered that the actions of the victim did not pose a threat to the life and health of the defendant.

An upper court dismissed the appeal against this ruling; however, it re-qualified the woman’s actions as deliberate infliction of grievous bodily harm, committed in excess of the limits of necessary defense.

The Supreme Court in turn found that this conclusion of the court of appeal was made with a significant violation of the provisions of the Russian Criminal Code dealing with justifiable self-defense.

Under the established circumstances of the incident, the woman had the right to inflict any damage of any nature and extent to the assailant, as there was a real threat to her life; the single blow on the victim with a knife was inflicted precisely at that very moment, the Supreme Court noted.

Therefore, the defendant committed no crime as per the respective provision of the Criminal Code, the Supreme Court found. It ordered to cancel the conviction and later judicial acts issued with respect to the woman and to terminate the criminal case for lack of corpus delicti. The Court also recognized the defendant’s right to rehabilitation.