Monitoring of the trial of A. Melnik, A. Kryzhanovsky, I. Pasichny, I. Kunik (court hearings 15-16.03.18)

Two preparatory court sessions in the case of the ”Vizit” TV company head Alexander Melnik who is one of four accused (together with A. Kryzhanovsky, I. Pasichny, I. Kunik) in the case of murder of  Kremenchuk mayor A. Babayev and the judge of the Kremenchuk court A. Lobodenko had to take place on March 15-16 in the Poltava district court. But, despite the approved schedule of meetings, court sessions has been cancelled because on March 15 the presiding judge took a two day vacation. In this situation it should be noted that lawyers unfortunately haven’t been notified on cancellation of a hearing, on the official site of judicial authority it has also not been removed from the calendar that has misled the public representatives, in particular ISHR and OSCE. At the same time the absence of defendants says that employees of the pre-trial detention center have been informed, and so it is possible to assume selectivity of the warning system of court.

ISHR more than once faced the unfair attitude of courts to advocates when lawyers were notified too late about time of court session (Mefedov’s case), or come to court, to find out that hearings are cancelled at the initiative of court or prosecutor’s office (Mastikasheva’s case).

By results of court session on March 16, ISHR experts have noted a number of violations of the right to a fair trial some of which in this process have already gained traits of a permanent trend. For example, placement of defendants in the glass box contrary to the judgment of 21.02.17 and also lack of necessary medical care still are the most important discrepancy of process to the national legislation and European convention.

Also, it should be noted about difficulties which the court has faced when forming the jury. Due to the constant rejections and petitions for dismissal of jurors, the court has begun to consider some questions and to pass decisions by board of two professional judges and one juror that directly contradicts the pparagraph 3 of Art. 31 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The next hearing is appointed to March, 23. Experts of the International Society for Human Rights will continue monitoring of this trial. It is possible to get acquainted with the previous materials here.

Expert council