Monitoring the trial of Y. Mefedov (session 10/12/18)

On October 12, 2018, a preparatory court hearing was held in the Nikolaevsk court on the case of Yevgeny Mefedov, a citizen of Russia, an activist of the Odessa Anti-Maidan, who participated in the events of May 2, 2014 in the Odessa House of Trade Unions. The International Society for Human Rights continues to monitor this case.

Recall that Y. Mefedov is charged under Part 1 of Article 109 of the Criminal Code – “Actions committed with the aim of forcibly changing or overthrowing the constitutional system or seizing state power, as well as conspiracy to commit such actions”, part 2 of Article 110 of the Criminal Code – “Infringement on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine.”

At this time, witnesses for the prosecution were heard. Two of the three witnesses admitted that they had not personally seen the events regarding which the case is being heard. And the third one could not in any way confirm his presence during the events. They were ready to answer questions based on what they heard from third parties, based on materials freely available in the media and videos shown by representatives of the Ukrainian secret service. Investigative actions to identify the accused in the case were also not carried out. One of the witnesses during the interrogation used insults in his speech, and after that he explicitly stated his dislike towards lawyers of the defendant.

The experts of the ISHR also express their concern about the presence at the court of aggressively inclined persons trying to put pressure on the court, which directly violates both international and national law. After the lawyer Valentin Rybin asked the judge to make a remark to one of those person the presiding judge, made a remark to the man. The judge also noted that such actions can be regarded as pressure on the court and are a criminal offense, which caused a wave of indignation and disputes from several “activists”.

Also during the interrogation, those present in the courtroom repeatedly interrupted the session with various cries, including those addressed to lawyers (for example, the requirement for the judge to stop the crime by a lawyer, bearing in mind the fact that the lawyer spoke in Russian). Valentin Rybin had to ask the court several times to ensure order, motivating his request that it was difficult to work under pressure.

Experts from the International Society for Human Rights will continue to monitor this case. Previous materials can be found here.

Expert Council of ISHR