Monitoring the case on charges of Chubarova Larisa (12/13/2019)

On December 13, 2019, the Kharkov Court of Appeal examined the appeal of Chubarova Larisa, a citizen of the Russian Federation, accused of committing a criminal offense on the grounds of part 4 of Art. 260 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – the creation of paramilitary or armed groups not prescribed by law, part 1 of article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, part 1 of article 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – illegal handling of weapons.

By the decision of the Kiev district court of Kharkov dated 06/29/2017, Chubarova Larisa was found guilty of the above charges and she was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

On December 12, 2017, the appeal proceedings were opened. Thus, the Kharkov Court of Appeal has been hearing the case for more than 2 years. One of the reasons for the violation of reasonable time of trial is 5 facts of self-recusation of judges.

In addition, the delay of the consideration of the case was directly affected by the defense. More than once lawyer Shadrin A. did not appear at court hearings without good reason.

At the hearing on December 13, the lawyer was insufficiently prepared. For example, he requested a second forensic examination of the material evidence (explosive devices) that were destroyed. He could not argue his position on the type of examination. As a result, the accused did not support the request for such an examination. The lawyer also asked for a psychological examination of the witness, although the court of appeal does not have such procedural rights. According to the ISHR observer, the defense was situational in nature. It should be noted that this lawyer does not provide Chubarova L. with legal assistance on the basis of an agreement, but was appointed by the court from the list of public defenders.

Due to the weak position of the defense counsel, the accused independently clarified the essence of the motions to the judges, answered questions from the judges, although she did not have the necessary legal knowledge. In addition, she “defended” herself against statements by the prosecutor.

In addition, Larisa Chubarova previously stated that she was not provided with effective legal assistance. But at the time of the trial, she said: “I am extremely tired of my position of legal uncertainty. Let’s consider as many questions as possible, since we have already gathered in full force.”

The trial is characterized by absolute unsystematicity. This is one of the reasons for its duration.

As the Cassation Criminal Court as part of the Supreme Court indicated in the decision of June 6, 2019 in case No. 738/1085/17: “… the effectiveness of the defense is not the same as achieving the desired result for the accused by the results of the trial, but rather providing him with appropriate and sufficient opportunities using their own procedural rights or qualified legal assistance”.

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights refers to “assistance” rather than “appointment.” The very appointment of a lawyer does not provide effective assistance, since a lawyer appointed for the purposes of legal assistance may … evade his duties. If they are notified of the situation, the authorities must either replace him or force him to fulfill his obligations (“Artiko v. Italy”, § 33; “Siyrak v. Russia”, § 27).

The fact that a lawyer is provided by the accused on a free basis does not justify his actions. Representatives of the ISHR are forced (in connection with the statements of the accused) to establish a violation of paragraph 3 of Art. 6 of the Convention (the right to effective legal assistance).

The International Society for Human Rights will continue to monitor and clarify the details of this case.