There are a growing number of court hearings in Petrozavodsk associated with the Dmitriev case. On Monday, 25 January 2021, for instance, there will be a hearing at the High Court of Karelia that has no direct relation to Yury DMITRIEV or the charges brought against him. It is directly linked, however, to the methods used by the judicial system in the Karelian Republic to exact vengeance on the inconvenient historian. To be more exact, this court hearing will be an attempt to take issue with those methods.
A new defence lawyer?
On 17 November 2020, Judge Yekaterina Khomyakova tried to assign a new defence attorney to Yury Dmitriev. There was no legal logic to her action. It would have replaced Victor Anufriev who has led Dmitriev’s defence for the past four years.
The Petrozavodsk Embankment (photo, Galkova)
Judge Khomyakova sent a notice to the Fleganov & Partners law firm, requesting it to represent Dmitriev. It turned down her offer. To accept would have infringed the Statute on the Order for Participation in Cases of Defence Attorneys appointed by the Court. Alexander Fleganov refused the offer on behalf of his firm. There followed Judge Khomyakova’s individual ruling, which she sent to the Petrozavodsk bar association, about a violation supposedly committed by Fleganov & Partners. Alexander Fleganov appealed against this ruling, and it is his appeal that will be heard today by the High Court of Karelia.
A recent post on the website of the Petrozavodsk City Court reports that Yury DMITRIEV’s appeal of 21 December has been forwarded to the Third Cassation Court in St Petersburg. The appeal objects to the decisions handed down by the Supreme Court of Karelia on 29 September: Dmitriev’s term of imprisonment was increased almost fourfold from 3 ½ to 13 years in a strict regime penal colony; and the three other charges were returned to the city court to be re-examined a third time.
In early July 1997, DMITRIEV together with Irina Flige and the late Veniamin Joffediscovered a huge killing field of the Great Terror near Medvezhegorsk in Karelia. Subsequently it became known as Sandarmokh.
Weeks later, in early September, he and Sergei Chugunkov identify the Krasny Bor killing field and burial ground not far from Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia.
Next week the charges against Yury DMITRIEV will be examined, once again, in the Petrozavodsk City Court. The first hearing in the new trial is scheduled for Tuesday, 24 November (on the court’s website it was announced that the trial would begin on Wednesday, 18 November, but the later date was agreed and confirmed with Dmitriev’s defence).
This will be the third time Yury Dmitriev has been put on trial for the same crimes. Twice the Petrozavodsk City Court has found the historian not guilty of preparing child pornography or committing depraved acts against his foster daughter. On a further charge of illegal possession of a firearm he was found guilty in 2018, but acquitted in 2020.