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.
Statement by the board of International Memorial
“On 11 November 2021 at about 4:30 pm we were notified by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation that the Prosecutor General’s office has filed a lawsuit requesting the International Memorial be closed down for alleged systematic violations of the ‘foreign agents’ act (reference being made to failure to append the ‘foreign agent’ disclaimer to this organisation’s materials). The court hearing is scheduled to take place on 25 November.
“We have repeatedly stated that the act in question has been introduced with the view to eradicating independent organisations and insisted that it should be revoked. However, while the law is still in force we are obliged to follow its requirements.
“We believe that there are no legal grounds for the Memorial to be dismantled.
“This is a political decision aimed at exterminating the Memorial Society, the organisation dealing with history of political repression and human rights defence.”
At present there is a lull in the judicial proceedings. His lawyer Victor Anufriev says that the case files for both of Dmitriev’s trials remain in Moscow with the Supreme Court.
On 19 October Anufriev challenged the decision of the Court not to examine the appeal he submitted on his client’s behalf in June this year. His challenge was sent to Vyacheslav Lebedev, chairman of the Supreme Court, and as a result the hearings in Petrozavodsk will not resume at least until 19 November.
“This would be the third time the Petrozavodsk City Court has issued a verdict,” commented Anufriev. “He has already been acquitted twice on these charges [making pornographic photos]. These days, especially, to acquit someone twice, to release him and then return the case for re-examination is unprecedented.”