Trial resumes. Anufriev cannot attend

Several hearings in Yury DMITRIEV’s third trial at the Petrozavodsk City Court are due to take place this week and next: today, tomorrow and Friday, and on Monday, 6 December.

What happens today (writes Natalia Dyomina on Facebook) promises to be unpredictable. DMITRIEV’s principal defence attorney of the past five years Victor Anufriev has been ill [last year he missed important hearings while self-isolating due to Covid-19] and Dmitriev signed an agreement with a second attorney from Petrozavodsk. At the last court hearing, however, the substitute lawyer could not be present: he was due to appear at another trial, agreed much earlier, some way from the Karelian capital.

Victor Anufriev, February 2021

Soon Judge Khomyakova was up to her old tricks. Dissatisfied with these “delays” she herself appointed an attorney, giving him or her (the identity of the new lawyer is unknown) only a few days to get acquainted with no less than 25 substantial case files from the two earlier trials.

So two defence attorneys could turn up in court today. How the court-appointed lawyer behaves is anyone’s guess: will (s)he cave in to threats from Judge Khomyakova if, like one of her earlier appointees, (s)he refuses to take on Dmitriev’s defence?


During the next few days, meanwhile, we are expecting to hear from Russia’s Supreme Court. DMITRIEV’s appeal against his sentence, especially that handed down in September last year by Karelia’s High Court, is due to be heard a second time.

The case has already been sent back to Petrozavodsk, it seems. In which case the Supreme Court ruling is already apparent. Or is it?