On the eve of a verdict

Halya Coynash

A verdict is due on Thursday, 5 April 2018, in the trial of YURY DMITRIEV, world-renowned Russian historian and head of the Karelia branch of the Memorial Society.

City Courthouse, Petrozavodsk, 2018

Petrozavodsk City Courthouse (photo, Kerstin Kronvall)

The prosecution has demanded a 9-year sentence, despite even the expert assessments ordered by the court dismissing the charges. This deeply flawed case differs from many politically-motivated trials, however, in that the outcome is still not clear. A guilty verdict on Thursday afternoon will signal a new descent for Russia into its Soviet past.

Continue reading

Photos not pornographic, say new forensic experts

A new assessment of the photographs of YURY DMITRIEV’s adopted daughter was scheduled by the court: the photos constitute the main evidence against the head of the Memorial Society in Karelia. Yesterday, during the interval in the proceedings at this famous case, Dmitriev’s defence attorney VICTOR ANUFRIEV announced to waiting journalists that the new forensic experts had found no element of pornography in the photos.  Continue reading

The real reason for the delay at the trial?

On Thursday, 30 November, the hearing continued of the case against historian YURY DMITRIEV, accused of producing pornographic images. The court rejected the defence petition for the removal of the Federal Department of Independent Forensic Assessment from the case, reported Dmitriev’s defence attorney VICTOR ANUFRIEV.

Anufriev said he had information that the Arbitration Court in St Petersburg was examining several applications involving the so-called Federal Department: the organisation was on the verge of liquidation as a legally-constituted entity, added Anufriev: that was the main reason for the defence petition for its dismissal from the trial.  Continue reading

Motion denied (twice)

The latest court hearing in the case of YURY DMITRIEV, head of Memorial in Karelia, took place at the Petrozavodsk City Court on Wednesday and Thursday, 29 and 30 November.

After a month of waiting, during which the new expert assessment of the photographic evidence was supposedly being prepared, it was learned that the work was still not complete. A defence petition for better qualified forensic experts to take on this task was turned down by the court on Thursday, 30 November.

At Wednesday’s hearing Dmitriev’s lawyer, defence attorney VICTOR ANUFRIEV, petitioned for a change in the measure of restraint for his client during the trial, from custody to a guarantee not to leave the country [surrender of his foreign travel passport] or to house arrest. Judge Nosova rejected the petition.

Continue reading

Analysis of photos not ready — next hearing, 29 November

The latest hearing in the case of Yury Dmitriev took place on Wednesday 25 October although all had been warned on Tuesday that there would be no judicial hearing on 25th. The court decided that the hearing would resume on Wednesday, 29 November 2017. The reason for this postponement was that the expert assessment of the photographps of Yury Dmitriev’s adopted daughter was not yet ready. “The firm providing the assessment requested yet another month,” said Dmitriev’s defence attorney Victor Anufriev.

Continue reading