“He’s facing things bravely, but hopes for justice”

Yury DMITRIEV’s second trial, like the first, is being held behind closed doors. His lawyer Victor Anufriev recently provided his view of the case in the longest interview he has given to the media since early last year. (The second trial began in September 2018.)

The interviewer was Katerina Gordeyeva (Meduza).

Gordeyeva — Two years have passed since the Petrozavodsk City Court acquitted Yury DMITRIEV of the two most serious charges and gave him a two-year suspended sentence for “Illegal possession of a firearm”. Yet Dmitriev is still in the detention centre. What happened?

Anufriev — After the acquittal the prosecutor’s office, invoking its procedural rights, applied to the Supreme Court for the verdict to be annulled. I also submitted an appeal, for that part of the verdict which concerned the firearm, to be annulled.

As a result, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Karelia annulled the entire verdict, satisfying the appeal by the prosecutor’s office and my appeal. The case was returned for further examination.

And it was during this re-examination of the case that the new charges appeared?

Yes, on 9 September 2018 the two cases were combined as one investigation.

What was new to the case?

Dmitriev was accused of another, more serious, crime. He could now face a total of up to 20 years’ imprisonment. He is charged under four Articles of the RF Criminal Code:

  • 135, part 3: “Perverted Actions of a Sexual Character against a minor”;
  • 242.2, part 2: “Use of a Minor for the Purposes of Preparing Pornography”;
  • 222: “Illegal Acquisition, Transfer, Sale, Storage, Transportation, or Bearing of Firearms, Its Basic Parts, Ammunition, Explosives, and Explosive Devices”;
  • 132, part 4: “Violent Actions of a Sexual Character against Someone who has not reached the Age of Fourteen”.

Victor Anufriev

The charge that Dmitriev was in illegal possession of a firearm — one that did not work, incidentally, and for which Dmitriev had a permit — has not disappeared.

Of the new charges the main accusation is of violent sexual activities. There was no such accusation in 2016, when the case began.

There was not.

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Russia arrests second historian of Stalin’s Terror

It is becoming dangerous in Russia to investigate the crimes of Stalinism, writes Halya Coynash. A second Karelian historian, Sergei KOLTYRIN has been arrested and is facing charges almost identical to those now brought against political prisoner, Yury DMITRIEV.

Sergei Koltyrin (sea background)

Sergei Koltyrin

While the possibility cannot be excluded that there are real grounds for these new charges, the chilling similarities between the two cases are of immense concern. So too is the timing, with this second arrest coming soon after Koltyrin publicly rejected attempts to rewrite history about the mass graves of victims of the Terror at Sandarmokh in Karelia.

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Museum director detained “on suspicion of paedophilia”

Sergei KOLTYRIN, director of the Medvezhyegorsk district museum, has been detained “with an accomplice” on suspicion of paedophilia, a source within law enforcement told the local Respublika website. This was later confirmed by the Investigative Committee of Karelia.

Sergei Koltyrin

Sergei Koltyrn, director of Medvezhyegorsk district museum

Koltyrin has been heavily involved with the Sandarmokh memorial complex, which lies within the area covered by his museum, and spoke out against the recent excavations there by the Russian Military Historical Society. He has been director of the Medvezhyegorsk district museum for the past 27 years.

He is being investigated under Article 135 (Depraved Actions), concerning sexual relations with a minor. This is an offence similar to that which was added to Yury DMITRIEV’s charge sheet after his re-arrest at the end of June. (The details of the new charge against Dmitriev have yet to be clarified.)

Source: Respublika website
Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Trial delayed for a month

The first hearing in Yury DMITRIEV’s new trial was postponed on
27 September until next month, to allow the accused and his lawyer time to acquaint themselves, once again, with the case materials of his first trial [from 1 June 2017 to 5 April 2018]. The next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday,
17 October 2018, at the Petrozavodsk City Court.

Dmitriev in court, 27 Oct 2018

Dmitriev in courtroom corridor, 27 September 2018 (photo, Sergei Myatukhin)

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“Will we fight?” asked Yury Dmitriev. “Yes!” I answered

What evidence did the investigators present in court, for the court to adopt custody as the measure of restraint for your client?

Today the Petrozavodsk City Court granted the petition of the investigator, supported by the prosecutor’s office, and remanded Yury Dmitriev in custody until 28 August.

anufriev

If you ask what the grounds for this decision were, I believe there were no grounds because there was no evidence whatsoever in the case materials that the investigator brought to court that Yury Dmitriev had done what was said. Grounds for suspicion, in other words, were not established today. Moreover, as always, the standard phrases were pronounced: “he might hide from the investigation”, “he might influence the victim”, “he might leave the country, because he has applied for a foreign travel passport”.

Dmitriev’s lawyer, Victor Anufriev, talks to Zoya Svetova about the new criminal case.

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