Monitoring of the trial of Vasiliy Muravitskiy (court hearing 07.05.2018)

On the May 7,2018 in the Korolev district court of Zhytomyr the judicial hearing took place on the case of journalist Vasiliy Muravitskiy, who is accused of high treason and trenching upon territorial integrity of Ukraine by means of his journalistic activity. The experts of International Society for Human Rights continue monitoring of this trial.

The course of the court hearing. On the statement of one of advocates, Vasiliy Muravitskiy included by American Human Rights organization Freedom House in the list of subjected to repression, and also declared as political prisoner by the State department of the USA(in the institution’s report on Ukraine).

The hearing in itself in fact served for the public prosecutor to present to the court articles written by Muravitskiy. As proof, prosecution used the conclusions of examination, the task of which consisted of determination of authorship by comparison of articles that are indisputably written by Vasiliy Muravitskiy, with the articles, which are written by different authors. But examination rose a number of reasonable remarks from the side of defense: the articles taken for comparison were questionable (not those, for example, for which Vasiliy Muravitskiy  was officially awarded), texts were not translated into official language neither for an expert nor for a court, and additional confirmation of authorship consisted in protocols of examination of some web-sites with screenshots plugged in them. Accordance of these screenshots to the special procedures, by the envisaged criminal procedure for determination of photos as proofs, was also contested.

Alleged violations of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. As one of basic violations of rights of the defendant it is possible to mark circumstance that the prosecutor did not give to the side of defense texts of the articles and conclusion of the examination before drafting of indictment, that deprived the advocates of possibility to contest examination and to request a new one. Also, on the statement of the side of defense, the prosecutor did not acquaint one of advocates with the case files. The European court on human rights stated that in order to facilitate the conduct of the defense, the accused must not be hindered in obtaining copies of relevant documents from the case file (case of “Rasmussen v. Poland”), and also specifies that Convention guarantees the defendant “sufficient time and terms for preparation of the defense”, and that is why the real activity on defense must include all that is “necessary” for preparation to the judicial trial. Defendant must have the opportunity to organize the defense properly and without limitations of possibility to expound all arguments of defense to the court, and thus to influence on the result of trial (case of “Moiseyev v. Russia”).

The next hearing is assigned for June, 1 2018. The experts of International Society for Human Rights will continue monitoring of this trial. Previous materials can be viewed here.

ISHR Expert council