Defence demand new assessment of photographic evidence

The defence team of Karelian historian Yury Dmitriev will petition the court for a new or repeat expert assessment of the photographs of his daughter that the specialists of the Centre for Sociocultural Expert Assessments considered to be pornographic. This was made known on 7 September, writes 7×7’s correspondent, at the latest hearing of the case against the historian at the Petrozavodsk City Court.

As Victor Anufriev, Dmitriev’s defence attorney, told those outside the court building, the head of the Centre Natalya Kryukova was cross-examined on Thursday, 7 September. The conclusions reached by her organisation formed the basis for the charges against the historian. (An assessment as to whether the photographs were pornographic was made by the Centre for Sociocultural Expert Assessments, drawing on the views of an art specialist, a teacher of mathematics and a paediatrician.)

Victor Anufriev asked the experts to present documents confirming that they had the right to carry out such examinations. They did not possess such documents, he said.

“Kryukova announced that they were specialists, not experts, and were conducting a scientific investigation. That was why the conduct of forensic examinations was not among their main activities. Kryukova said although she was trained as a mathematician, she was a psychologist,” said Anufriev, “she had taken a course in General Psychology at college.”

During the day’s hearing, the defence and the prosecution discussed whether to conduct a repeat examination of the photographs that the first assessment had judged to be pornographic. The prosecutor insisted that the Centre which he had proposed do the work: the defence attorney wanted the work done by a State licensed organisation. This issue will be resolved at the next hearing on Friday, 15 September. By that date Dmitriev’s defence team will prepare a written petition, demanding that a new or repeat examination of the photographs be conducted.

At Thursday’s hearing, the policeman who summoned Yury Dmitriev on 29 November 2016 [to the police station] and spoke with him for four hours was also cross-examined. It was then, in the historian’s opinion, that someone entered his apartment and investigated his computer where the photographs of his daughter were found. According to Anufriev, the young man could recall almost nothing about those events.

“He was very forgetful,” said Anufriev. “he did not remember that he had visited Dmitriev three times. For example, he said that Dmitriev, supposedly, spent about 40 minutes with him [at the police station].”

About thirty people came to Karelia to support Yury Dmitriev: his friends and colleagues from other cities, the rights activist Zoya Svetova, independent investigator Nikolai Epplée, and the US vice consul Demitra M. Pappas. None of them could enter the courtroom since the trial is being held in closed session.

Gleb Yarovoi
“7×7 – Horizontal Russia, 7 September 2017

 Rights in Russia,
(14 September 2017)