Today’s hearing of the DMITRIEV case produced one decision. He has been remanded in custody for a further month when his present term of detention ends on 25 June.
Until now his treatment, throughout both trials, has been monotonously repetitive. Every time the usual three-month term of custody nears its end, the court has simply renewed that measure of restraint for another 12-13 weeks. The latest news may be an indication that the trial really will come to an end in late July. The verdict cannot come too soon. Yury Dmitriev has been living under prison conditions, without fresh air and exercise, for two years and it is surely taking its toll.
For a short period between January and June 2018, before and after the verdict in the first trial, Dmitriev was released first into house arrest and then on condition that he would not leave Petrozavodsk. This welcome concession came to an end with claims that he had proved himself to be a flight risk. As his lawyer Victor Anufriev recently pointed out, Dmitriev had been heading AWAY from the border with Finland when he was re-arrested and has never successfully obtained a foreign-travel passport.
The 64-year-old’s present terms of confinement mean that signing the petition, calling for Dmitriev’s immediate release into house arrest for the remainder of his trial, is as urgent as ever.