Today the High Court of Karelia began its third hearing of the appeals made by Defence and Prosecution following the 22 July verdict in the trial of Yury DMITRIEV. [Previous hearings were held on 16 and 22 September.] At this hearing experts appointed by the court will present a new analysis of the photographs in the case.
It is unusual for a court of the second instance to take so long over its deliberations. More often it reaches a decision after a single sitting.
On Monday, 28 September, an Open Letter signed by over two hundred Russian scientists, actors, rights activists, politicians, film-makers, historians and publishers was published in Novaya gazeta. It was addressed to the chairman of Karelia’s High Court Anatoly Nakvas.
Yury Alexeyevich DMITRIEV (photo Anna Artyemeva, Novaya gazeta)
The child’s voice failed to be heard not just by the chairman of Petrozavodsk City Council Bondarchuk, while the court heard the girl’s statement about how much she loved her adoptive father.
As for unlawful threat to privacy, the Karelian children’s ombudsman Sarayev did not, for some reason, try to sue Rossiya TV or REN TV channels for broadcasting the photos from the “health diary” to the entire country.
In short, local officials requested the continued persecution of DMITRIEV. After that nothing stood in the way of executing the ready-made scenario.
The historian Yury DMITRIEV was accused of touching his foster daughter’s genital area on several occasions;
At the age of eight the girl suffered episodes of involuntary urination (enuresis);
DMITRIEV touched the child’s genital area to check if her underwear was dry when he could smell urine, after which he took his daughter to have a wash;
The diagnosis of enuresis was supported by hospital release notes;
Three psychiatric investigations concluded that DMITRIEV displayed no sexually deviant tendencies;
Linguistic experts from the Academy of Sciences’ Institute of the Russian Language analysed the texts of the girl’s interrogation and attested to communicative pressure applied by the investigator. A Moscow University professor analysed the texts of the girl’s conversations with a psychologist and believed that the girl’s statements concerning DMITRIEV’s actions did not display the criteria typical of recollections of a traumatic experience.
The success of the prosecution in the Dmitriev case appears to correspond to the career moves of Anatoly Seryshev, former head of the FSB in Karelia.
I am finishing this text in Yury Dmitriev’s flat, in the room that used to belong to his foster daughter. The shelves still hold several of her toys, her story books, and school notebooks. From the window you can see her school …