Monitoring the criminal trial of Mehti Logunov (court session of 18.12.18)

On December 18 consideration of the appeal of Mehti Logunov on the verdict of the court in the form of imprisonment supposed to take place. Recall, Mehti Logunov (84 years), a citizen of Ukraine, a scientist (PfD) was sentenced on July 30, 2018g to 12 years in prison. The trial, as well as the announcement of the verdict took place behind closed doors, without the presence of relatives, representatives of human rights organizations and the media.

Mehti Logunov appealed to the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) and other international human rights organizations about multiple violations of his rights, both during detention and during the trial. Unfortunately, due to the court’s decision to hold court sessions behind closed doors, the direct monitoring of court sessions by the representatives of the ISHR was impossible.

Due to the change in the composition of the panel of judges, because of the dismissal of one of the judges, the consideration of the appeal was postponed to April 11, 2019.  The ISHR experts are extremely concerned about the situation around Mehti Logunov with regard to his complaints of numerous violations of human rights. At the moment, his fate remains unclear, as M. Logunov continues to remain in remand prison.

Logunov is kept in remand prison for almost a year and a half, which has extremely negative impact on his health. According to his words, during this period he lost three teeth, five more broke, he suffers from constant headaches, back and knees pain, problems with eyes (cataract of the right eye) and other chronic diseases. In addition, he was diagnosed with diabetes.

He himself considers his sentence, given the age of 84 years, as life sentence, and given the rapidly increasing health problems as a “long death sentence”. Correspondence and meetings with relatives are prohibited (since he has no close relatives), and given the state of health, M. Logunov needs not only clothes and food, but also expensive medicines.

ISHR will continue to monitor and clarify the details of the case. ISHR experts express their hope that the appeal will be held in open court, which will allow monitoring of the right to a fair trial in this case.