When hearings resume on 13 December the defence (represented by Victor Anufriev and Roman Masalyov) will make its closing statement. Yury Dmitriev will then address the court and also pronounce his Last Words at this trial. Word from Moscow is that the trial may finish as early as Tuesday 14 December.
Dmitriev as a free man (March 2018)
Veteran photo-reporter Victoria Ivleva who took this picture is herself currently detained.
The CHARGES page has two essential reports that reveal much of what went on behind closed doors during the first two trials: Nikita Girin’s long and informative article (in two parts) WHAT WE’VE UNCOVERED published in July 2020, and the linguist Irina Levontina’s interview with Zoya Svetova NATASHA HELD FIRM (published in September last year).
A statement from the Supreme Court may be made this week (22-27 December) about the Dmitriev case: for those who read Russian here is the link to the case on the Court’s website. The pages listed under the TRIALS menu provide an overview and give rapid access to articles, interviews and reports in English that document the shifts and changes of the past five years.
On Wednesday, 16 September 2020, the High Court of Karelia will hear the appeals submitted by both defence and prosecution after the 22 July verdict and sentence in the trial of Yury DMITRIEV.
The investigation and prosecution of the historian and head of the Memorial Society in Karelia began in December 2016 and has lasted almost four years, during which time Dmitriev has been detained, almost continually, at detention & investigation centre No 1 in Petrozavodsk.
The current appeals
Dmitriev’s defence has appealed against his conviction on one of the charges and called for his acquittal on all counts.
Under the Russian judicial system, the prosecution is also entitled to appeal. The prosecution has protested about the exceptionally light sentence (3 ½ years) and is calling, as it did during the closing statements, for a sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment in a strict-regime penal colony.
The charges and the verdict
The evidence and expert testimony supporting and opposing a range of charges against the historian have been heard and evaluated at two trials since June 2017.
After examining the charges, the International Memorial Society declared on 28 June 2017 that Dmitriev was a “political prisoner”. The case against him was fabricated, said Memorial, and Dmitriev was innocent of all charges.
Today 64 years old, Dmitriev has been prosecuted for a number of crimes under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. He was acquitted of all but one charge in April 2018. Tried again between October 2018 and July 2020 for two of the same offences and a further charge, he was found guilty of the new crime but given a minimal sentence.
In summer 2018 further charges of forced sexual acts against his daughter Natasha were brought against Dmitriev. These accusations are based on new testimony by Natasha and her grandmother, neither of whom testified against Dmitriev during the first trial.
Victor M. Anufriev
After the second trial began, Yury Dmitriev’s lawyer, Victor Anufriev, was interviewed by Alexander Valiyev of the Russian Service of Radio France Internationale.
A formal appeal was received today by the Petrozavodsk City Court from Yelena Askerova, the city prosecutor. She acted for the prosecution at the trial of YURY DMITRIEV, who was accused of preparing child pornography and the unlawful possession of a firearm. Our website received this information from the court.
Dmitriev, the head of Memorial in Karelia, was found not guilty of the main charges. He was sentenced to 2½ years restricted liberty after being convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm. Taking into account the months he had already spent in custody, the historian was faced with only three more months to serve. During that period, he must report to the prison every fortnight.