Monitoring of the case of Yuri Rossoshanskiy (hearing of January 25, 2021) 

On January 25, 2021, the Shevchenkovsky District Court of Kiev continued to consider the case of Yuri Rossoshansky on the murder of human rights activist Irina Nozdrovskaya. He is charged with Paragraph 4 of Part 2 of Art. 115 (premeditated murder committed with extreme cruelty) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Recall that on December 29, 2017, it became known about the disappearance of the famous human rights defender Irina Nozdrovskaya. On January 1, 2018, her body was found in a river near the village of Demidov, Kiev region. Sometime later, the police detained a murder suspect, Yuri Rossoshansky. Then he confessed to what he had done, saying that he had killed Nozdrovskaya out of personal enmity, but he soon retracted his testimony. The accused faces up to 15 years or life imprisonment.

The hearing began with a petition from the victim (mother of Irina Nozdrovskaya), who continues to demand that the investigating authorities gain access to her daughter’s correspondence on social networks. She is sure that there is all the information necessary to investigate the case. The judge noted that this cannot be done now, since it is necessary to adhere to a certain procedure.

At this hearing, the court continued to examine the evidence, namely the video files of the search of the defendant’s home. The victims, as in previous times, claimed that the accused was not telling the truth and that completely different people were behind the murder.

The defense side also filed a petition that the report of the search of the home conducted on January 9, 2018 and the examined video are inadmissible evidence and should be excluded from the list of evidence in the case, since the pre-trial investigation bodies did not adhere to the requirements of Articles 104, 223, 234, 236 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine. Since evidence obtained in violation of procedural legislation was attached to the case materials, they can be regarded as doubtful and, presumably, used to complicate the case, which entails delaying the proceeding. The lawyer indicated that 11 attesting witnesses were recorded in the protocol, but the video shows that there were 18 people there. If we consider the characteristics of the attesting witnesses themselves, then they may well be interested persons for various reasons.

With regard to the question of assessing the facts that have been established on the basis of alleged unreliable evidence, the European Court of Human Rights almost always leaves it to the discretion of the national judge. If there are serious doubts about the quality of evidence provided by the prosecution in a criminal case, the ECtHR takes into account procedural guarantees in the case of obtaining and examining such evidence, rather than re-evaluating this evidence (“Cornelis v. The Netherlands”, paragraph 102). However, the Court emphasizes that, when considering the topic of evidence, the main question in the case is whether the criminal proceedings were generally fair, providing the person with guarantees of the right to defense (“Heglas v. Czech Republic”, paragraphs 89-92).

In this case, according to the International Society for Human Rights, the fact that the victims offer a study of evidence that can confirm the guilt of completely different people, and not Y. Rossoshansky, undoubtedly requires attention.

According to the judge, the issue of evidence should be investigated in more detail and the video from the first search (dated January 4, 2021) should be additionally reviewed, but already at the next hearing.

The International Society for Human Rights will continue to clarify the details of these criminal proceedings.