Monitoring the case of Vladimir Dovgalyuk (session 12/06/19)

12/06/2019 in the Bogunsky District Court of Zhitomir, a hearing was held in the case of Vladimir Dovgalyuk accused of murder (paragraph 7 of Part 2 of Art. 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Hearing progress

The representative of the victims and one of the victims did not appear at the hearing. By agreement of the participants in the trial, the session was held without their presence.

The evidence of the defense was examined, namely the conclusions of the judicial portrait examination compiled in 2015. The examination was to show whether it is possible to identify male figures that are present on the video files submitted by lawyer Ferenc by anatomical, functional, general physical and external signs. Also, is it possible to identify the person who is present on these video files. The examination was carried out by a non-government institution. The results showed that the images of the personalities shown in the videos are unsuitable for identifying the person by signs of appearance, because of the small scale, low resolution, defocusing angle, etc.

The prosecutor asked the court to draw attention to the fact that the organizational and legal form of the expert institution is non-government, and only state institutions can conduct such examinations, and requested that this evidence be recognized as unacceptable.

Lawyer Ferenc commented on the prosecutor’s response, saying that since October 17 of this year, the monopoly on expert examinations has been eliminated. He also indicated that at the hearing, the expert and the head of the expert institution said that this was not a forensic examination.

Attorney Nagornaya commented that the 2012 Code of Criminal Procedure made it possible on a contractual basis to attract experts and conduct such examinations, and this is a 2014 lawsuit.

Also, the defense came to the conclusion of another, but similar examination, conducted on video from the DVR. The prosecutor asked a question, in what procedural way, did the lawyer remove the drive from the DVR and send it for examination? And that the law has no retroactive effect, and similar examinations at the time of their conduct should have been carried out exclusively by state experts.

For explanation, the defense asked to read the act of voluntary issuance to the attorney of the drive to the DVR. The prosecutor, in turn, noted that the defense is empowered to initiate expert examinations, but it does not have the right to independently conduct them. The prosecutor asked that the evidence be declared inadmissible, since the procedure provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine was violated. Lawyer Ferenc replied that he had fulfilled his duties within the procedural framework. The defense objected to the prosecutor’s motion to declare the evidence inadmissible.

The court decided that the admissibility of the evidence would be resolved during the evaluation of all the evidence in the deliberation room at the time the court decision was made, since the prosecutor’s arguments regarding the obviously inadmissible evidence go beyond the scope of Art. 87 which clearly defines the basis for determining evidence is obviously unacceptable.

Further, the court examined the results of the portrait examination, and the forensic psychological examination carried out at the request of the prosecutor.

During the monitoring of the trial, no violations were recorded. It is worth noting the professionalism of judges, their compliance with procedural rules and objectivity in the examination of evidence. Also, the efforts of judges, despite the workload, to consider criminal proceedings as soon as possible, without delaying the trial.

The next hearing is scheduled for December 24, 2019. Experts from the International Society for Human Rights will continue to monitor this trial.