Monitoring of Vladimir Dovgalyuk’s case (session 24.09.2019)

09/24/2019 in the Bogunsky district court of Zhitomir, a hearing was held in the case of Vladimir Dovgalyuk accused of murder of O. Zhadko that happened on 07/11/2014 (paragraph 7 of part 2 of article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Chronology of the case:

11/18/2014 Zhytomyr District Court, by its decision, refused to the prosecutor in choosing a measure of restraint to the accused in the form of detention. The court decided at a preparatory hearing to appoint a criminal proceeding in respect of the accused of a criminal offense under paragraph 7 of part 2 of article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine to trial in open court.

On 9/9/2015, at the request of the prosecutor, the court decided to appoint in the case a repeated comprehensive computer-technical, phototechnical, and technical examination of the video recordings obtained from the surveillance cameras.

10/21/2015 considered the issue of changing the measure of restraint to the accused. The victims, who are the brothers, the mother and father of the victim, filed a motion to amend the accused with a bail in custody because, as the author of the petition substantiated, the evidence examined confirms the guilt of the accused. The prosecutor and the representative of the victims supported the motion. The court concluded that there were no grounds to satisfy this request based on the following: in accordance with the provisions of h. 1 Article. 331 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine – during the trial, the court is entitled, including – to change the measure of restraint against the accused only at the request of the prosecution or the defense. According to chapter 3 of section I of the general provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine, the victim does not belong to the prosecution in this case.

11/15/2017 Zhytomyr District Court found the accused Dovgalyuk V.O. innocent of the charge under paragraph 7 of part 2 of article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and acquitted him in connection with the lack of evidence that a criminal offense was committed by him.

12/22/2017 the Court of Appeal of the Zhytomyr Region on the appeal of the prosecutor on acquittal, opened an appeal proceeding.

In the appeal, the prosecutor requests the sentence of the court of first instance to be annulled and a new sentence convicted of guilty of a criminal offense incriminated to him and sentenced under paragraph 7 of part 2 of article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – 15 years in prison.

The court ruled: the acquittal of the Zhytomyr district court of the Zhytomyr region of November 15, 2017 under paragraph 7 of part 2 of article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine is canceled and a consideration of the criminal proceedings in the trial court is scheduled.

January 18, 2019. The panel of judges of the Zhytomyr Court of Appeal having examined in a public court the presentation of the chairman of the Zhytomyr District Court of the Zhytomyr Region about sending criminal proceedings from the Zhytomyr District Court for consideration to another court, decided to send the case for consideration to the Bogunsky District Court of Zhitomir.

On January 25, 2019, the prosecutor filed a motion to change the measure of restraint in the form of bail to detention. In support of this, he noted that there are risks stipulated by clauses 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, part 1 of Art. 177 Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine. The defense side objected to the petition to change the measure of restraint, since the prosecutor did not prove the existence of risks, and the petition is based only on assumptions.

The court, considering the fact that there is no information about the violation by the accused of duties, including communication with witnesses, decided to refuse the petition of the prosecutor to change the chosen measure of restraint to the accused.

02/15/2019 Dovgalyuk V. filed an appeal against the rulings of the Bogunsky district court of the city of Zhytomyr. He was denied the opening of the appeal proceedings.

04/23/2019 the defendant challenged the composition of the judges. In support of this, he noted that the court violated his right to a fair trial, in connection with the refusal to satisfy his requests for the return of the case materials to the prosecutor. The dismissal of the accused and the defense counsel of the court was denied because of groundlessness.

The course of the session 09.24.2019

The session began 30 minutes late due to the delay in the representative of the victims. One of the victims did not appear, his statement about poor health and a request to hold a session without him were transferred to the court.

The representative of the victims asked to attach evidence that is with the prosecutor. The prosecutor filed a motion to attach evidence to the case file. The court, having consulted on the spot, decided to attach.

The court asked the defense side which documents they would submit for the investigation, so that the defense would submit a list, since this is a procedural necessity. The defense party filed a motion for the inclusion of materials that had not previously been submitted, these are 48 documents. The court granted the motion.

The consideration of the case began. The following were read out by the court: the report of the investigator, the protocol of the inspection from the scene of the event, the act of using the service dog, the protocol of the inspection of the body, the characteristics of the victim’s place of work, the conclusion of the forensic expert. The prosecutor filed a petition to call forensic experts to ask questions about the possible painful sensations of the victim. The court granted the motion.

Further, the court considered access protocols for surveillance cameras, a plan for the layout of cameras. Viewed videos from surveillance cameras. The quality of video recordings made from surveillance cameras located at some places in the city does not allow a clear view of the faces. The video showed how a person was walking behind the victim in the city, who was later identified by witnesses, confirming that the person on the camera record and the person running away from the house of the victim at the time of the murder is the same person. While watching the video, the brother of the victim, emotionally commented, saying that the accused was in the video. The court made a remark to him. The defense also requested not to make value judgments. As the working hours came to an end, the session was completed.

The next session is scheduled for September 27, 2019. Experts from the International Society for Human Rights will continue to monitor this trial.