Appeals lodged by all parties

Memorial in Moscow has just confirmed that the Defence and Prosecution have both appealed against the verdict and sentence pronounced on 22 July 2020 by Judge Merkov at the end of Yury DMITRIEV’s second trial before the Petrozavodsk City Court.

On 31 July Yury Dmitriev submitted an appeal, as did the prosecution. On 3 August, an appeal was lodged on behalf of the victim, Dmitriev’s adopted daughter Natasha.

Dmitriev’s attorney Victor Anufriev confirmed that an appeal had been submitted with the intention of clearing his client of all charges. At present Dmitriev is being held, as before, in detention centre No 1 in Petrozavodsk.

“They are not used to losing” (Yury Dmitriev)

According to Dmitriev’s lawyer Victor Anufriev, a report by a psychologist pointing to “certain new circumstances” was presented to the Supreme Court of Karelia on 14 June.

“We shall know why the Supreme Court of Karelia took such a decision only in five days’ time,” Anufriev told Lyubov Chizhova of Radio Svoboda, “when the grounds for such a ruling on the appeal have been prepared. Yesterday they only announced the resolution that the sentence had been wholly revoked, as concerns both the acquittal [on two charges] and the conviction [on one charge].

Anufriev: I appealed against the conviction for possession of a firearm. The court revoked that conviction. The prosecutor appealed against the acquittal on the serious charges. The court also revoked the acquittal and sent the case back for a new examination almost from the beginning. We shall learn why it acted in this way when we can read its motivated resolution. We can say now that we were expecting the prosecutor’s office to use every means at their disposal. They used the child for their own purposes. That was predictable.

Why was it so important for the prosecutor’s office to keep Dmitriev on trial?

Anufriev: The charges were signed by Yelena Askerova, the Petrozavodsk city prosecutor. She took part in the trial and upheld the charges. She did not drop the charges and so if she has acted as prosecutor and received an acquittal, she must appeal against it. It has become a widely-reported case. I believe that she faced a choice between losing her job or securing a conviction. That’s why she was prepared to use all and any means.

We did not invite the child to appear in court. We wanted to spare her. We did not want to make her give testimony in support of Dmitriev, because she had said nothing bad about him during the preliminary investigation. They took a different approach. The Petrozavodsk ombudsman for children’s rights became involved and, on instruction from the prosecutor’s office, it seems, he brought the grandmother and child 600 kms to Petrozavodsk. Then they found a psychologist and he wrote down what the girl said.

What action will you take now?

Anufriev: We shall defend our client using legal methods and approaches. A great many expert assessments that clear Yury Dmitriev were added to the case. These, of course, destroyed many of the points made by the prosecution.

Now they want to use such underhand methods to shore up their position: supposedly, certain new circumstances have appeared. Now they will invite the children’s rights ombudsman and this psychologist to appear in court, and will request that new expert assessments be made.

Radio Svoboda, 15 June 2018
(abridged)

Political Trial reinstated

Yury Dmitriev (photo, Anna Yarovaya)

A rare moment of justice from a Russian court has proved all too fleeting, writes Halya Coynash. On 14 June, Karelia’s High Court overturned the acquittal in April of world-renowned historian Yury Dmitriev and sent the ‘case’ back for retrial.  Dmitriev’s imprisonment and trial had been widely viewed as politically-motivated persecution, and his acquittal – the only possible verdict after the charges were totally demolished by experts.

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Acquittal overturned

On Thursday, 14 June, after deliberations lasting over one and a half hours, the Supreme Court of Karelia overturned the acquittal of Yury DMITRIEV on charges of child pornography (Article 242.2) and depraved acts with a minor (Article 135).

This was reported by the news website 7×7, based on what it was told after the hearing by Victor Anufriev, Dmitriev’s defence attorney since December 2016.

The court based its judgement, in part, on a statement made by Dmitriev’s adopted daughter Natasha during a psychiatric examination following the acquittal in April 2018 that she was “upset and disgraced”. This statement, said Anufriev, was obtained under duress.

The case materials will now be returned to the Petrozavodsk City Court for re-examination by a new judge.

Meduza news website, 14 June 2018

Practical advice and protests

Practical Advice

Three bits of advice that may be of help to those travelling to Petrozavodsk for the hearing tomorrow, writes Maria Ruzina:

  1. the court hearing on Thursday, 14 June, at 3 pm will take place not on Krasnaya St as we had imagined. Yury Alexeyevich DMITRIEV says it will be held at 27 Kirov Street. That’s where the Supreme Court of Karelia is actually located.
  2. If you arrive during the night or early mornring, it will be difficult to find a cup of coffee, a bun and wifi. Locals have even told me there are no all-night cafes in the centre of Petrozavodsk.
  3. In the Brusnika [blueberry] hostel at 34 Antikainen Street, 15 minutes’ walk from the courthouse, a bed in the dormitory costs 420 roubles. It’s clean, quiet and the internet works without interruption. That’s where I’m writing from, in fact.

Protests

For those who can’t travel to Petrozavodsk, let’s hold solitary pickets in our towns and cities. All you need is to post a photo showing a placard held up against the local sights. Write on it #Greetings to Dmitriev. What do you think? Are you ready? Natalia Sivohina, St Petersburg.

greetings to Dmitriev [1]

“Yury Alexeyevich, Petersburg is with you!” (Natalia Sivohina)

On 14 June, writes Inga Prosvetova, the World Cup opens in Russia and solitary pickets are prohibited. But our heroes can always find a loophole: so far there’s no ban on decorating your clothes with  slogans (so long as these exclude obscenities).

If you add them by hand on the morning of 14 June, toothpaste or marker pens will be enough and last the day out on your jeans.

Be careful, warns Natalya Dyomina. A court has just imposed a 10,000 rouble fine for a solitary picket in support of Oleg SENTSOV. The judge was not prepared to listen to any legal argument.

Facebook, 13 June 2018