Monitoring the case of Andrei Khandrykin (sessions 08.22.19 and 08.30.19)

On August 22 and 30, in the Dnieper district court of Kiev, court hearings were held in the case of an ex-officer of the “Berkut” riot police unit regarding the events that took place on Maidan on January 20, 2014. Andrei Khandrykin is one of three accused (two others left Ukraine) of torturing protesters during a confrontation between police and protesters near the stadium named after Lobanovsky in Kiev (under Part 2 of Article 127 of the Criminal Code). The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) continues to monitor this case.

In the trial, the stage of litigation began. At this session, a representative of a civilian victim read out his debate speech, in which he fully supported the prosecutor’s charge and asked for the same punishment for the accused – imprisonment for 8 years. After the debate speech was read by the lawyer of A. Khandrykin in which he drew the court’s attention to the following facts:

– the prosecutor did not present evidence to the court that would directly indicate the guilt of the accused, also, there is no evidence even of the presence of Khandrykin at the crime scene;

– 11 witnesses were questioned, among whom were 2 doctors, 3 experts, 2 journalists, and 1 police officer, as a result, it is reliably known that one of the witnesses lied to the court, and the testimony of experts cannot be taken into account, since the packages which contained the conclusions of the experts were opened and destroyed.

 – according to the law, law enforcement officers can use force to protect citizens, and abuse of power can be imputed only in the case of grievous bodily harm or murder.

– the prosecutor, demanding 8 years of imprisonment, in his debate speech asks the court the question “Was the accused present at the crime scene?”, at least this question confirms the lack of evidence of A. Khandrykin’s guilt.

After the lawyer’s speech, the court took a break until August 30 to declare the sentence. It is worth noting that the trial of A. Khandrykin has great interest in society. Representatives of various public organizations usually come to court hearings to express their opinion regarding the accused and the trial itself. This session was attended by about 10 aggressively-minded activists who were rude to lawyer V. Rybin and accused A. Khandrykin. Those activists frustrated the hearing demanding that the court force the lawyer to change his rhetoric.

On August 30, the court passed a verdict of acquittal to Khandrykin, arguing that evidence of guilt is insufficient. After this decision, the media began to actively accuse the judge of the illegal decision, thereby contributing to undermining public confidence in the national judicial system. It is worth noting that the judge of the ECtHR from Ukraine Anna Yudkovskaya, at the 12th extraordinary congress of judges of Ukraine, noted that one of the reasons for Ukraine’s leading position in the number of complaints to the ECtHR is the mass media campaigns, which put distrust of the courts in the heads of Ukrainians.