On September 25, 2020, a hearing on the case of Vladimir Evstigneev was held in the Korolevsky District Court of Zhitomir. He is accused of committing a criminal offense under Part 2 of Art. 121 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, namely – infliction of willful grievous injuries that led to death.
On the evening of March 21, 2020, V. Evstigneev, due to hostile relations, had a verbal conflict with his son, Andrey Evstigneev, and Vladimir, being in a state of alcoholic intoxication, stabbed his son with a severe degree of blows from which A. Evstigneev died. The accused partially admits his guilt.
After clarifying all the organizational issues, the prosecutor read out the indictment.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that the victim Alla Chervinskaya did not appear at the hearing, without warning the court in advance, and, according to the accused, for this reason it was impossible to hold the hearing, since she must also testify.
In this context, it is necessary to take into account the practice of the ECtHR, which indicates that the personal presence of the parties is necessary:
- to obtain evidence from them, if they are witnesses of important events in the case (“Kovalev v. Russia”, 30-38);
- in order to enable the judge to come to a conclusion about the identity of the applicants, their abilities, etc. (“Shtukaturov v. Russia”, paras. 69-76).
The ECtHR also notes that a person is required to report his physical or other disability to the court in order to be able to ensure his [person’s] effective participation in the process (“Timergaliev v. Russia”, paras. 50-60).
It should be noted that the International Society for Human Rights is constantly observes the lack of sufficient number of judges in courts. In this regard, failure to appear in court without prior notification of the court or without a motion to consider the case in absence may be regarded as contempt of the court.
As a result, due to the failure of the victim and witnesses to appear, the court announced a break in the hearing until October 29, 2020.
The International Society for Human Rights is grateful to the Korolevsky District Court for the fact that, during the difficult period of quarantine restrictions, it provided an opportunity for our observer to be directly present at the court session to monitor compliance with the right to a fair trial. This allows us to note the openness of the court and the observance of the principle of publicity at a time when many courts significantly limit this principle.