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.
Different sides were in play here, I think. In the Petrozavodsk City Court, Dmitriev’s defence attorney was able to outplay the security services by bringing forward a mass of witnesses, experts and specialists and used procedural norms to push the court at the first and second trials to take the right decision. The prosecution did not provide a single proof of Dmitriev’s guilt.
At the High Court hearing on 22 September in Petrozavodsk, Judge Alla Rats requested another expert assessment of the photographs on Yury DMITRIEV’s home computer that formed the pretext for his arrest on 13 December 2016.
On Wednesday, 22 July 2020, in a damp and windy Petrozavodsk, Victor Anufriev briefly addressed a large crowd of journalists and cameramen and women outside the City Court. According to BELSAT journalist Marina Makarova he indicated that his client Yury DMITRIEV had been found guilty and sentenced to three years six months’ imprisonment.
Taking into account the length of time DMITRIEV has already spent in detention centre No 1 in Petrozavodsk this means that he will be released on 12 November. Anufriev later specified that the sentence referred only to the charge of sexual abuse. (See 22 July report by Halya Coynash of the Kharkov Human Rights Group.)