High Court upholds 15-year sentence

As soon as sentence was passed in December 2021 at Yury DMITRIEV’s third trial, his lawyers submitted an appeal against the verdict.

Yury Dmitriev in the courthouse corridor, 2022

Unlike the previous two trials, the court was openly prejudiced against the accused and would accept no petitions from the defence. Victor Anufriev, Dmitriev’s defence attorney since December 2016, objected on grounds of elementary disregard for court procedure.

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The High Court of Karelia began its hearing on 9 March 2022, during the fighting in Ukraine and unprecedented protests (and arrests) in Russia. As Valery Potashov reports on the Dmitriev supporters Facebook page, the court has just turned down the application to overturn the swingeing 15-year sentence imposed in late December last year. Perhaps, as before, further appeals will take the case higher up the judicial ladder, to the Cassation Court in Petersburg and the Supreme Court in Moscow. Dmitriev’s attorneys have not yet commented on yesterday’s ruling (and will only receive the written justification for the court’s ruling in some days time).

For the time being the 66-year-old DMITRIEV remains in Karelia’s detention centre No 1 in Petrozavodsk where he can be visited by his attorney and his daughter Katya. How much longer no one knows.

John Crowfoot

Dmitriev appeal hearing set for Wednesday, 9 March

A hearing of the appeal against Yury DMITRIEV’s conviction in late December last year has been scheduled for 9 March at the High Court of Karelia.

Curiously, the old link to the case on the Court’s website no longer works. Instead, you must search for it anew and can only find it by tracking the case number.

In the past the details were concealed. They then become partially accessible: now it has been decided to conceal them again.

Alexandra Kononova

“Dmitriev Affair” page, Facebook,
18 February 2022

“A message to my supporters!” Dmitriev in the Petrozavodsk courthouse, 28 December 2021

Portrait

This portrait of Yury DMITRIEV was recently produced by the artist Boris Zhutovsky.

DMITRIEV has been in custody since December 2016, with only a brief period of liberty from January to June 2018 when he was allowed to live at home but not to leave Petrozavodsk.

The portrait was evidently created from photos of the researcher since DMITRIEV was little known in the rest of Russia before his first trial from June 2017 to April 2018.

“I’m a tough old fellow …

I know a thing or two …” said DMITRIEV in a letter (see below) the day before the new sentence was announced.

DMITRIEV chats briefly with his lawyers Victor Anufriev and Roman Masalyov; video taken by Nikita Girin for Novaya gazeta.

Dmitriev’s words quoted above come from a letter he wrote to journalist Zoya Svetova. She received it on 26 December 2021. There he also said that in his Last Words to the court he declared he was proud to be a member of Memorial.