The security services have had their way

Sergei Krivenko, Memorial board member, on the Karelian Supreme Court ruling. (He first made a statement about the case in 2017.)

Different sides were in play here, I think. In the Petrozavodsk City Court, Dmitriev’s defence attorney was able to outplay the security services by bringing forward a mass of witnesses, experts and specialists and used procedural norms to push the court at the first and second trials to take the right decision. The prosecution did not provide a single proof of Dmitriev’s guilt.

In court, the specialists said that the photographs were not pornography and there was no evidence in the case materials that the girl had been subjected to violence. That was why the sentence in the second trial was less than the minimum, only 3 ½ years for an Article in the Criminal Code defined as “violent acts of a sexual character”. In reaching this decision the Petrozavodsk City Court relied on a ruling issued by the plenum of the Russian Federation Supreme Court: if “acts of a sexual character” were committed against a child, but without violence, the ruling recommended that judges interpret them as “other acts of a sexual character”.

As concerns the decisions of the Supreme Court of Karelia, there are reports that the people from the security services who are behind this conviction put pressure on the judges and forced them to deliver a completely unjust and improper ruling. Judge for yourselves. There have been two trials in the Dmitriev case, both lasting 18 months. Now in two days, with a State-appointed attorney we are faced with such a verdict. It’s nothing less than the security services having their way.

MBK Media, 30 September 2020