RF Supreme Court to re-examine Dmitriev case

In late June this year Yury DMITRIEV submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. On 30 June it was officially registered by the court.

Yury Dmitriev at home in 2018, after a year in Remand Centre [SIZO] No. 1 (photo, Anna Artyemeva)

On 31 August, the last day on which such a complaint may be re-examined in accordance with existing legislation (Criminal-Procedural Code, Article 401.10, pt 4), the Supreme Court announced via its website that it had requested the case materials and previous rulings in order to carry out such a re-examination.

September 2020 to February 2021

On 29 September 2020 the High Court of Karelia almost quadrupled the sentence passed on Yury Dmitriev that July. The Petrozavodsk City Court (Judge Alexander Markov) had sentenced him to 3½ years imprisonment, a length of time barely greater than he had already spent in custody since December 2016 during his two trials.

The High Court increased the sentence to 13 years in a strict-regime penal colony [effectively the same as prison] and returned the case to be examined by the Petrozavodsk City Court a third time.

On 16 February the Third Cassation Court in Petersburg left the High Court decision unchanged despite the many violations committed during its deliberations.

The public reaction

Since Dmitriev submitted his appeal to the Supreme Court many public, educational and research bodies and organisations in Russia, and abroad, have appealed for his case to be re-examined.

While the Supreme Court examines the case materials and previous rulings the third trial at the Petrozavodsk City Court will be halted.

A last chance

Examination by the Supreme Court is the last chance for Dmitriev to obtain justice from the Russian judicial system.

In early March this year, anticipating that the Supreme Court might not issue a positive result in his case Dmitriev, aided by lawyers from the Memorial Human Rights Centre, submitted an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg.

Memorial International, News 31 August 2021

See also Halya Coynash, “A last chance for the Russian Courts to end the persecution of Yury Dmitriev”, Human Rights in Ukraine, 1 September 2021