At the third attempt the Cassation Court in St Petersburg has allowed the appeal submitted by Yury DMITRIEV and his lawyer Victor Anufriev to go forward for examination. A report in the Kommersant newspaper (14 December 2020) quotes Anufriev as saying that DMITRIEV “had submitted one appeal against all the previous decisions reached by the courts” in Karelia.
“In the cassation appeal we have combined our objections to the High Court of Karelia which [on 29 September 2020] sentenced Yury Dmitriev to 13 years imprisonment,” said Dmitriev’s defence attorney. “We have also sent part of the case materials for a new examination: in that case we are appealing against the previous decision to sentence my client to 3 ½ years in a penal colony.” No date has yet been scheduled for the hearing at the court in St Petersburg, commented Anufriev.
13 December marked the fourth anniversary of DMITRIEV’s first arrest in 2016. The historian and head of the Memorial Society in Karelia discovered the burial remains of the victims of Stalin’s repressive measures in Sandarmokh. Memorial links the prosecution of DMITRIEV for alleged offences under four Articles of the RF Criminal Code with the subsequent excavation of those burials up until his arrest in December.
In July this year the court gave the historian a minimal sentence but in September the High Court of Karelia raised the sentence to 13 years for offences under Article 132, Part 4(b) and returned the other three charges for a new examination at the Petrozavodsk City Court.
The third trial of DMITRIEV for committing the alleged offences began on 24 November and should have continued on 17 December. Anufriev has been informed, however, that the hearing will be postponed until 24 December, “in view of the judge’s busy schedule.”