“Will we fight?” asked Yury Dmitriev. “Yes!” I answered

What evidence did the investigators present in court, for the court to adopt custody as the measure of restraint for your client?

Today the Petrozavodsk City Court granted the petition of the investigator, supported by the prosecutor’s office, and remanded Yury Dmitriev in custody until 28 August.

anufriev

If you ask what the grounds for this decision were, I believe there were no grounds because there was no evidence whatsoever in the case materials that the investigator brought to court that Yury Dmitriev had done what was said. Grounds for suspicion, in other words, were not established today. Moreover, as always, the standard phrases were pronounced: “he might hide from the investigation”, “he might influence the victim”, “he might leave the country, because he has applied for a foreign travel passport”.

Dmitriev’s lawyer, Victor Anufriev, talks to Zoya Svetova about the new criminal case.

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Dmitriev detained for two months

On 28 June the Petrozavodsk City Court decided that YURY DMITRIEV, head of the Karelian section of the Memorial Society, should be remanded in custody as part of the new criminal case against him.

“There were no surprises today,” commented Dmitriev’s lawyer Victor Anufriev. “Before the hearing the investigator said, ‘We’ll see you at the Detention Centre tomorrow.’ In other words, he already knew what the decision would be.

“During the hearing they made reference to the following: detained with his belongings; was trying to get a foreign travel passport; a grave crime; might put pressure on the victim; could commit a new crime; was attempting to hide from the courts. Those different turns of phrase have turned up in one court ruling after another.”

So far as 7×7 correspondent is aware, Dmitriev has not yet been charged. The criminal investigation was launched under an Article covering “violent actions of a sexual nature against a minor”.

7×7-Horizontal Russia, 28 June 2018

Dmitriev re-arrested

YURY DMITRIEV has been arrested less than two weeks after a court ordered his retrial on gravely flawed charges, reports Halya Coynash. He was stopped by police in Karelia after leaving Petrozavodsk to visit the grave of a friend who died just before his first arrest. The renowned historian and head of the Karelia branch of the Memorial Society was officially detained for going outside Petrozavodsk in breach of the signed undertaking to remain in the city he gave when released from custody in January this year. In fact, the manner in which NTV, one of Russia’s worst propaganda media, appears to have had a photographer at the scene and swiftly reported that he had been stopped while trying to flee the country, arouses the suspicion that this may all have been part of an operation to get Dmitriev imprisoned again.

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“They are not used to losing” (Yury Dmitriev)

According to Dmitriev’s lawyer Victor Anufriev, a report by a psychologist pointing to “certain new circumstances” was presented to the Supreme Court of Karelia on 14 June.

“We shall know why the Supreme Court of Karelia took such a decision only in five days’ time,” Anufriev told Lyubov Chizhova of Radio Svoboda, “when the grounds for such a ruling on the appeal have been prepared. Yesterday they only announced the resolution that the sentence had been wholly revoked, as concerns both the acquittal [on two charges] and the conviction [on one charge].

Anufriev: I appealed against the conviction for possession of a firearm. The court revoked that conviction. The prosecutor appealed against the acquittal on the serious charges. The court also revoked the acquittal and sent the case back for a new examination almost from the beginning. We shall learn why it acted in this way when we can read its motivated resolution. We can say now that we were expecting the prosecutor’s office to use every means at their disposal. They used the child for their own purposes. That was predictable.

Why was it so important for the prosecutor’s office to keep Dmitriev on trial?

Anufriev: The charges were signed by Yelena Askerova, the Petrozavodsk city prosecutor. She took part in the trial and upheld the charges. She did not drop the charges and so if she has acted as prosecutor and received an acquittal, she must appeal against it. It has become a widely-reported case. I believe that she faced a choice between losing her job or securing a conviction. That’s why she was prepared to use all and any means.

We did not invite the child to appear in court. We wanted to spare her. We did not want to make her give testimony in support of Dmitriev, because she had said nothing bad about him during the preliminary investigation. They took a different approach. The Petrozavodsk ombudsman for children’s rights became involved and, on instruction from the prosecutor’s office, it seems, he brought the grandmother and child 600 kms to Petrozavodsk. Then they found a psychologist and he wrote down what the girl said.

What action will you take now?

Anufriev: We shall defend our client using legal methods and approaches. A great many expert assessments that clear Yury Dmitriev were added to the case. These, of course, destroyed many of the points made by the prosecution.

Now they want to use such underhand methods to shore up their position: supposedly, certain new circumstances have appeared. Now they will invite the children’s rights ombudsman and this psychologist to appear in court, and will request that new expert assessments be made.

Radio Svoboda, 15 June 2018
(abridged)

Political Trial reinstated

Yury Dmitriev (photo, Anna Yarovaya)

A rare moment of justice from a Russian court has proved all too fleeting, writes Halya Coynash. On 14 June, Karelia’s High Court overturned the acquittal in April of world-renowned historian Yury Dmitriev and sent the ‘case’ back for retrial.  Dmitriev’s imprisonment and trial had been widely viewed as politically-motivated persecution, and his acquittal – the only possible verdict after the charges were totally demolished by experts.

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Acquittal overturned

On Thursday, 14 June, after deliberations lasting over one and a half hours, the Supreme Court of Karelia overturned the acquittal of Yury DMITRIEV on charges of child pornography (Article 242.2) and depraved acts with a minor (Article 135).

This was reported by the news website 7×7, based on what it was told after the hearing by Victor Anufriev, Dmitriev’s defence attorney since December 2016.

The court based its judgement, in part, on a statement made by Dmitriev’s adopted daughter Natasha during a psychiatric examination following the acquittal in April 2018 that she was “upset and disgraced”. This statement, said Anufriev, was obtained under duress.

The case materials will now be returned to the Petrozavodsk City Court for re-examination by a new judge.

Meduza news website, 14 June 2018

Practical advice and protests

Practical Advice

Three bits of advice that may be of help to those travelling to Petrozavodsk for the hearing tomorrow, writes Maria Ruzina:

  1. the court hearing on Thursday, 14 June, at 3 pm will take place not on Krasnaya St as we had imagined. Yury Alexeyevich DMITRIEV says it will be held at 27 Kirov Street. That’s where the Supreme Court of Karelia is actually located.
  2. If you arrive during the night or early mornring, it will be difficult to find a cup of coffee, a bun and wifi. Locals have even told me there are no all-night cafes in the centre of Petrozavodsk.
  3. In the Brusnika [blueberry] hostel at 34 Antikainen Street, 15 minutes’ walk from the courthouse, a bed in the dormitory costs 420 roubles. It’s clean, quiet and the internet works without interruption. That’s where I’m writing from, in fact.

Protests

For those who can’t travel to Petrozavodsk, let’s hold solitary pickets in our towns and cities. All you need is to post a photo showing a placard held up against the local sights. Write on it #Greetings to Dmitriev. What do you think? Are you ready? Natalia Sivohina, St Petersburg.

greetings to Dmitriev [1]

“Yury Alexeyevich, Petersburg is with you!” (Natalia Sivohina)

On 14 June, writes Inga Prosvetova, the World Cup opens in Russia and solitary pickets are prohibited. But our heroes can always find a loophole: so far there’s no ban on decorating your clothes with  slogans (so long as these exclude obscenities).

If you add them by hand on the morning of 14 June, toothpaste or marker pens will be enough and last the day out on your jeans.

Be careful, warns Natalya Dyomina. A court has just imposed a 10,000 rouble fine for a solitary picket in support of Oleg SENTSOV. The judge was not prepared to listen to any legal argument.

Facebook, 13 June 2018

Supreme Court of Karelia will hear appeal on 14 June

On Thursday 14 June, the Supreme Court of Karelia will hear several appeals in the Dmitriev case (his defence lawyer Victor Anufriev told the Karelian internet newspaper Stolitsa na Onego). Anufriev intends to secure the dismissal of the charge that his client unlawfully possessed parts of a weapon.

The Petrozavodsk city prosecutor’s office has also submitted an appeal against the verdict of the City Court. The conclusions drawn by the court do not reflect the factual materials of the case, says the prosecutor’s office. The Petrozavodsk city prosecutor Yelena Askerova considers that a number of rules of the Criminal Procedural Code were infringed, as well. The appeal calls for the acquittal to be quashed. In court, Askerova demanded nine years’ imprisonment in a strict-regime penal colony for YURY DMITRIEV.

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Dmitriev receives Moscow Helsinki Group award

On 12 May 2018, YURY DMITRIEV was among the recipients of the yearly awards made by the Moscow Helsinki Group. Like other laureates, he wore a black teeshirt demanding “Freedom for Oyub Titiyev!” the detained head of Memorial in Chechnya.

Dmitriev in Titiyev teeshirt after MHG award

After the award ceremony (photo, Maxim Lyalin)

(The photograph shows Dmitriev with fellow laureate Victoria Gromova
from Vladimir, Central Russia, in the courtyard behind Teatr.doc)

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