FIFTEEN years have already passed since the first Chairman of the Supreme Court of Karachay-Cherkessia Magomet Abrekov is no longer among us. Shocked by his untimely demise, people who knew him cannot accept that such a brief life fell on his lot. Magomet Madjitovich was just in his mid-fifties when he left this world; today he could celebrate his 60‑th anniversary. If only he lived more...
Thousands of people living in our region or far away remember Magomet Madjitovitch Abrekov with a sincere feeling of sympathy and deep esteem. Like his blood brothers, many of them, not even related in kinship, used to call him ''my Brother''. From different nations by origin, they were charmed by Magomet Abrekov's talent to make friends, to have human compassion, and to devote himself entirely to his vocation.
Brilliant and splendid was the path of life that fate allotted to this man, he could do a lot of good and valuable deeds for the republic's welfare, for his compatriots. We were contemporaries of one of the best jurists of Russia, of an outstanding public figure, a true fighter for the triumph of Law. We are proud to know that he grew up and matured on our soil.
The wonderland of his childhood was in the township of Yubileyny situated on the eastern outskirts of Cherkessk. Every day he walked along the noisy motorway to secondary school No 4. Wise and kind influence of his parents, eventful school life were the background of the birth and formation of Magomet Abrekov's individuality. From his early years he had a strong will, he never forgave himself any weakness either in study or in sport. His schoolmates remember that teen-age Magomet had no great physical abilities, while his age-mates, like many adolescents in Northern Caucusus, were keen on wrestling, sambo (form of Russian wrestling) and judo having already gained victories in school competitions and participated in city championships. But he was a persistent boy. Once, having lost a contest, he said: ''Well, I'll anyway achieve success and become Master of sports''. No sooner a mountaineer says than he does. When Magomet and his friends met after their military service, he showed them the certificate of Master of freestyle wrestling.
Magomet had many school-friends, but there were three of them very close. They formed ''the famous foursome'': Magomet Abrekov, Boris Erkenov, Fedor Ferisov and Timofei Kuznetsov. They used to go in for sports together to hike. They carried this friendship for many decades and performed many good deeds. When they were in the 9‑th form, ''the famous foursome'', as always led by Abrekov, initiated making a monument to Soviet soldiers who had perished during the Great Patriotic War defending mountain passes. They made the monument with their own hands, took it to Arkhyz and installed it near the road. Nowadays a new mountain resort is in construction in Arkhyz. A highway runs across the place where the monument was initially installed. But workers carefully moved it to a new, distinguished place nearby. A lot of tourists on their way to the mountains stop here to see the monument made in seventies by a group of teenagers.
Magomet Abrekov had a calling for his vocation when he was hardly twelve. One day he heard the neighbour complaining to his mother of a disproportionate sentencing. The boy declared then that he would become a judge and deliver only fair judgements. But the way to his dream was not easy. After school he had to work and entered the evening faculty of the Cherkessk branch of Stavropol polytechnical institute. At that time students studying at evening faculties had no exemption from military service and were often called up. After the first year of studies Magomet Abrekov was conscripted into army and sent to the Russian Far East.
Magomet used to surmount difficulties with dignity trying to do as honestly as possible what the existing situation required of him. His military service passed in Sakhalin Island in a village situated on the Pacific Ocean coast. Here are some lines from garrison newspaper: ''... senior sergeant Abrekov is one of the best shooters of the sub-unit. He reaffirmed the title of expert marksman during firing practice and received an ''Excellent'' mark". What more is striking: his schoolmate Fedor Ferisov, in the army too, managed to get a short leave and decided to visit Magomet in his military unit. Hundreds of kilometers distance does not count if friendship is true. By the time of Ferisov's arrival, Magomet had been on sentry duty guarding a depot. When Fedor came running up to his friend, Abrekov shouted severely: ''Halt! Qui vive?'' Fedor was amazed: ''Magomet! But it's me!'' —''Away! Restricted area!'' Maybe, Magomet was just joking, but the joke still reveals his character, his guideline in life — to do everything properly.
Dashing battalion master sergeant Magomet Abrekov got his discharge and entered Saratov institute of law which was famous for remarkable jurists graduated from it. Magomet Abrekov did his best to meet high requirements of this prestigious educational establishment. He studied well by himself, without any side assistance and that is of a particular value. At the time of his youth it was not customary to rely on money or on relations, but he hadn't all this stuff, though. Therefore, he had an invincible striving to be worthy of countrymen-professors whom he appreciated and esteemed for their deep knowledge and selfless service to the Profession. During all the years of studies he had only best marks in his student's record book. Magomet Abrekov was persuaded that he simply had no right to study worth as two of his professors — Boris Ebzeev and Yuriy Kalmykov — were his compatriots. These remarkable men, natives of Karachay-Cherkessia, became eminent jurists of new Russia: Boris Ebzeev was elected judge of the Russian Federation Constitutional Court for many years, Yuri Kalmykov was Minister of Justice. They both did a lot for the new Russia establishing, drafted and adopted laws under which Russia lives today. In seventies they were professors, were engaged in scientific activities and defended doctoral theses. The responsible and purposeful young man Magomet Abrekov at once drew their close attention due to his capacities, his yearning to serve to the noble cause and his desire to master legal sciences profoundly.
Graduated with honors from Saratov Institute in 1979, he started his career in law. Friends often came to see him in Bykovo, Volgograd region, where the young lawyer was working according to graduates' job placement. He was just only twenty five, when he was elected president of the regional court. It was incredible in those days that such a young lawyer was elected court president. Magomet Abrekov became the first. The youngest judge of the great country was notable for the unblemished professional reputation, competence and analytical mind.
That complex period had its peculiarities. Magomet Madjitovitch had to live through the gravity of so-called ''telephone power''. Attempts to pressurize judges weren't something extraordinary at that time. One day the reality confronted him with a rough party functionary, the first secretary of Bykovo communist party committee. The latter summoned the president of the regional court to his office and required: ''Soon the case of the chief land surveyor will be submitted to court. And so, he must be sentenced to imprisonment''.
The presence of the prosecutor in the office didn't confuse the party secretary; nothing could confuse him, even such an egregious disrespect for law.
Abrekov knew how to talk to people of this sort. He never tended to impose useless arguing or discussion, he simply acted in strict conformity with law. ''When the case is in court, we'll see,'' answered Magomet. After studying the files of the case, he realized that the man was absolutely innocent; he did toughly criticize the party bureau and the first secretary at a plenary meeting. Two months later he was arrested. The regional higher-ups tried to insist on the remand of the case, but finally the accused was acquitted.
Abrekov had to get through hard professional situations more than once. When total agreement of opinions reigned all over the country, when others dreaded to express personal opinion, he, as a true professional, managed to stand on his views. Nobody knows how much all these incidents exhausted his health and forces, but Abrekov knew how ''to take it on the chin''. During the period of the communist party's absolute power, perestroika and political reforms he succeeded to install the supremacy of law over the social chaos. Ten years after graduating from the institute he became honored jurist of the Russian Federation. In those days this title was usually given for long service but not for professionalism and competence. He also became member of Judicial Council and highest class judge.
An extremely gifted person, a remarkable jurist of national scale, Abrekov enjoyed huge authority over the Russian judiciary; he permanently entered the leadership board of congresses of judges.
Besides practical work Magomet Madjitovitch didn't spare efforts to scientific researches. This tireless energetic person had time to do a lot of things. He continued researches on constitutional law after his return to Karachay-Cherkessia and prepared his thesis on constitutional right problems, but unfortunately the fate didn't offer him a little while to defend it. In his native republic he was in charge of the regional court in Karachaevsk from 1986 to 1992 and later on, since 1993 he led the Karachay-Cherkess republic's Supreme Court.
The marvelous year of 1986 added colours to his emotional life: Magomet Madjitovitch met his future wife Lyuba Egizova. He was still working in Volgograd and Lyuba lived in Cherkessk; there were only letters between them with endless tenderness in each:'' How do you do, darling Lybantchik!'' The proposal of his hand and heart was written in the form of minutes of a trial made in his extraordinary calligraphic hand:''... The Court decided to marry Egizova Lyubantchik to Magomet Madjitovitch with the obligation of the former to give birth to three children... '' The young wife of the promising lawyer got to know all difficulties of the mission: thirteen removals within the first three years of conjugal life. However, the house must be cosy; the husband must wear a clean shirt everyday, and in general, have spick-and-span look clothes. And moreover, she studied at the institute; she wanted to work, to find her vocation, to advance in profession. She had no easy life either, but today he would have been proud of his wife, hard-working and wise, who has founded one of the best non-state high schools in Karachay-Cherkessia... Magomet Madjitovitch adored his daughters Marina and Larisa, his tenderness was unlimited.
Magomet Madjitovitch could continue his professional career in the capital of Russia; he had many proposals of that sort, but he decided to stay in Karachay-Cherkessia because he was sure that the republic needed him. His opinion was weighty, when there were socio-political aggravations Abrekov always called to consolidation and concord. He, being a true internationalist, was rightly called ''the son of all the peoples of Karachay-Cherkessia''.
He tirelessly stifled the flame of mistrust and discord between different nations; he fought for peace, concord and mutual understanding. When all started to claim national sovereignty, he said: ''it is out of the question in Karachay-Cherkessia. It's as if to cut a living body. Our republic should remain part of the Russian Federation. ''
It was nineties, the times when people were living in the hope of changes, waiting for new leaders more heedful for others' needs and problems. The society wanted young, energetic and competent specialists. It was natural then that Magomet Abrekov was designated, in 1993, first President of the Supreme Court of Karachay-Cherkessia Republic, a republic which had just received this status. Magomet Madjitovitch became a sort of attraction center; people trusted him, they loved him and respected.
At this period Abrekov worked a lot. The Court Palace construction in Cherkessk became the subject of his special concern and pride. He hoped that the Court Palace would be symbol of law supremacy both in essence and in form. Abrekov traveled around the world studying the international practice, sharing knowledge with foreign colleagues in the international judiciary school. His authority in the field of international cooperation was unconditional.
Magomet Abrekov, a very responsive man, could create a propitious social microclimate in the Supreme Court. If anybody from the staff needed help, he never waited to be asked, he was the first to propose help sparing no time. He helped many people. The only one he couldn't help was himself.
Nobody has the gift to glance beyond worldview limits of somebody to whom the disease dictates its will. We can only suppose how complex was Magomet Madjitovitch's internal life at that moment. A mighty man stood face-to-face with this problem. He had been very ill of late years, but showed nobody how difficult it was to fight against the disease. Nobody heard a word of complaint, quite the contrary, he tried to console his wife and friends: ''Don't worry, everything will be OK''.
His footfall sound will be never heard in Novaya Street where his house is; the door of his car will never clap, betokening his return home. Magomet Madjitovitch left this world. Impossible to get used to this thought, but it is so...
The memorial plaque installed on the building of the Court Palace in Cherkessk will remind us of Magomet Madjitovitch Abrekov. When somebody dies untimely, the living have a strange feeling of culpability. We are grateful remembering Magomet Madjitovitch; because he showed us how mighty and interesting a human life could be. We are grateful to him because he loved people, he was considerate to their feelings, indulgent to their foibles, and he loved life with all its manifestations, wonderful or tragic.
Time flits away quickly, but the name of Magomet Madjitovitch will never dwindle. His daughters will never forget him his, grandchildren are growing, and they will also take great pride in him. The memory of Abrekov will remain in good deeds. There is a mosque in his native village Yubileyny. Hyzyr Mamtchuev, the imam of the mosque, is proud to be friends with Magomet Abrekov: ''I had a friend Abrekov Magomet, president of the Supreme Court. He was born in this village; he lived here, and he died here. Thus, I've decided to construct a mosque in his commemoration. We have built a good and beautiful mosque with blessing of Most High Allah. I want also to erect a monument to Magomet... We want as well to rename the street Svetlaya where he lived in his childhood and to give it the name of Abrekov.''
In Cherkessk branch of Moscow social academy where among other disciplines the youth study law, there is a hall of trails bearing the name of the honored jurist of the Russian Federation Magomet Madjitovitch Abrekov. Students practice trials in this hall. Everything is close to the reality: presiding judge, prosecutor, attorney, plaintiff, defendant, witnesses. The presiding judge puts on the judge's gown belonged to Magomet Abrekov. This is the reward the future lawyers receive for the most considerable successes in studies. The art of legal procedure that Abrekov had mastered to perfection is studied today by young people, future prosecutors, attorneys and judges. They will follow the best professional skills of the first President of the Supreme Court of Karachay-Cherkessia Magomet Abrekov.
He was a person of great scale; the file of years passed after his death deepened the sorrow but these years also reasserted many people who knew him personally or not, how remarkable he was, Magomet Abrekov. We will remember him with feelings of esteem and love. Time has no power over these feelings.
By Svetlana Pereslavtseva