Attorney was a no-show

Yesterday evening Sasha Kononova reported on the Dmitriev Supporters Facebook Page (7,800 followers) that the court-appointed attorney did not turn up yesterday to take on the defence of Yury DMITRIEV at the Petrozavodsk City Court.

The city Bar Assocation, apparently, ruled his participation improper. Today it is expected that Victor Anufriev, Dmitriev’s attorney since 2016, will be well enough to appear in court on his client’s behalf, after making the long journey from Moscow.

Petrozavodsk City Court

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.

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Those who did not return

“I would like to recall them all by name,
but they’ve taken the list, there’s no way to find out”

Anna Akhmatova wrote Requiem, from which this famous couplet is taken, over almost thirty years (1935-1961). In Russia the poem could not be published in full until 1987.

Nikolai Gumilyov, Anna Akhmatova and their son Lev (1915)

Her first husband, fellow poet Nikolai Gumilyov, was shot on trumped-up charges in 1921 [47-01]. Their son Lev was twice arrested and sent to the camps, during the Great Terror and again in 1949. Her third husband Nikolai Punin died in August 1953 [11-23], a few months after Stalin, in the hospital of a labour camp complex in northwest Russia.

As she was well aware, Akhmatova was giving voice to millions who suffered a similar ordeal. When she died in 1966 Khrushchev’s brief and ambivalent “Thaw” had come to an end. For the next twenty years there would be silence about the crimes of the 1920s-1950s; any discovered remains were hastily reburied or moved elsewhere [42-08]. Not until the late 1980s did the rehabilitation of the “victims of political repression” under Stalin (and Lenin) resume.

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Essential Reading

The Dmitriev Affair, 2016-2021

A full summary of the twists and turns of this by now internationally famous case was recently given, offering an analysis of what has happened so far and why. The following, all cited in that summary, are probably the four most important and informative articles and interviews about the case (each has been translated from Russian):

Two Interviews with DMITRIEV attorney Victor Anufriev:

[Other comments by Anufriev]

Two articles that provide comprehensive accounts of the evidence and testimony at both trials:

The slow progress of the two trials (it took only seven months to arrest and convict DMITRIEV’s colleague Sergei Koltyrin) can be followed on Timelines One & Two. A subsequent timeline traces the Appeals process since September last year.

JC