Monitoring the case of Sergei Goncharuk (session 09/05/2019)


On September 5, a hearing was held in the Lvov Court of Appeal at which the appeal of the accused civil society activist S. Goncharuk was considered about the decision of the Shevchenkovsky district court of Lvov, which extended the detention of S. Goncharuk (accused of assaulting law enforcement officers in the building of the Lvov Court of Appeal) for a period of 60 days.

The International Society for Human Rights continues to monitor this case.

Accused S. Goncharuk has been in custody since 02.16.2019 without the right to make a bail. According to the defense, during detention the accused’s health deteriorated, his body was completely covered with red spots. The defense filed a motion to attach evidence in the form of photographs to confirm the indicated circumstances and a response from the remand prison on the characteristics of the accused.

The court attached the evidence to the case file.

In addition, the accused S. Goncharuk stated that in the pre-trial detention center, in the cell there was an attempt on his life. The court ignored the accused’s statement without giving any significance to this.

The judge of the Shevchenkovsky District Court of Lvov, O. Fedorova, extending the period of detention, motivated this decision by the fact that the risk to which the prosecution refers during the election of a measure of restraint did not disappear and continues to exist.

In turn, the defense objected, citing the fact that the prosecution did not provide any evidence of the existence of these risks. The risks referred to by the prosecution can be avoided if a measure of restraint is applied to the accused in the form of round-the-clock house arrest.

The accused announced a request to allow him to stay outside of glass “aquarium” during the session and seat next to his defenders.

The defense supported the motion of S. Goncharuk, and the prosecution objected. The court permitted the accused to seat next to his defenders.

Lawyer V. Razumnykh challenged the panel of judges arguing that the judges of the Lvov Court of Appeal have a biased attitude towards the accused S. Goncharuk because the crime itself was committed in the premises of the Lvov Court of Appeal and the victims of this case served and guarded the order of this courthouse.

The court rejected the request of counsel V. Razumnykh.

In addition, 4 petitions were submitted from citizens of Ukraine, G. Yuzik, O. Datsko, L. Konyukh, G. Prosolovich, (members of the public organization “Western Ukrainian Committee to Fight Against Organized Crime and Corruption”) about taking Goncharuk on bail.

The court refused to satisfy the appeal of the defense and the accused on canceling the decision of the Shevchenkovsky district court of Lvov and refused to apply the measure of restraint to the accused in the form of round-the-clock house arrest.

The court also refused to satisfy the petitions of citizens of Ukraine on taking the accused S. Goncharuk on bail.

It is worth noting that the ECtHR considers it a violation of the European Convention when a national court refers to the same justification (if any) for extended periods of detention of the accused (the case of “Harchenko v. Ukraine”).

During the monitoring of this trial, in order to provide more objective coverage and a comprehensive study, the ISHR observers received a video that captures the attack of Sergey Goncharuk on law enforcement officials (for which he is prosecuted). The video shows how the defendant is trying to break the turnstile at the entrance to the courthouse and kicks one of the guards after the policemen tried to stop him.

It is worth noting that members of regional meetings (including judges and lawyers) held by the ISHR in September 2019 in Kiev, Zhytomyr, Lvov, Zaporozhie, Kharkov and Poltava repeatedly spoke about the unlawful behavior of some civic activists in the courthouse.

The previous materials can be found here.