On January 27, 2021, in the Oktyabrsky District Court of Zaporozhye, a hearing was held in case No. 331/4277/17 on charges of Evgeny Sergeevich Sagaidak of committing a crime under Part 2 of Art. 187 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, namely, robbery committed by prior conspiracy by a group of persons or a person who has previously committed robbery or banditry.
The court session was held with the participation of the prosecutor, the accused and his defense counsel. The victims and their representative did not appear at the hearing.
The course of the court session: at the beginning of the court session, the accused filed a petition to clarify the court ruling dated December 8, 2020. In his opinion, in the ruling, the court made contradictory conclusions regarding the analysis of compliance with the provisions of Art. 213 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine regarding the report of the body providing free legal aid about his detention. E. Sagaidak also referred to the fact that the court had incorrectly analyzed the video recording of his arrest and had come to erroneous conclusions regarding the absence of violations of the provisions of the criminal procedural legislation.
Defender V.V. Trofimov supported the defendant’s motion and asked to satisfy it. Prosecutors T.E. Derevyanko and A.S. Puchkov on the contrary, considered that there were no grounds to satisfy the defendant’s motion.
The court, after listening to the opinions of the parties, decided to refuse to satisfy the defendant’s motion. The court indicated that the petition of the accused to clarify the court ruling actually amounts to the defendant’s disagreement with the adopted court decision.
Also, E. Sagaidak petitioned for the abolition of restrictive measures during the court hearings. At this stage, he is in a glass box during the trial, which, in his opinion, humiliates his honor and dignity. The accused also drew the court’s attention to the fact that such treatment is prohibited by Art. 3, 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The prosecution noted that in order to ensure the safety of the participants in the trial, an appropriate request must be made to the escort service.
The presiding judge indicated that this hearing is already coming to an end and the next hearing will begin with the consideration of this issue.
The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly stated in its decisions, in particular “Svinarenko and Slyadnev v. Russia” and “Labita v. Italy”, that keeping the accused in a metal cage or even in a glass box may be considered a violation of Art. 3 and 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.
The ECtHR reiterates that detention in a courtroom may affect the fairness of the trial guaranteed by Art. 6 of the ECHR, in particular, it may affect the exercise by the accused of the rights to full participation in the consideration of the case and to receive practically meaningful and effective legal assistance. As the European Court emphasized, the right of the accused to communicate with his lawyer without fear that their conversations might be overheard by someone is one of the basic requirements of a fair trial in a democratic society, otherwise legal aid will become much less effective (“Yaroslav Belousov v. Russian Federation”).
The ECtHR in its decisions “Kastravets v. Moldova”, “Sakhnovsky v. Russia”, “Khodorkovsky v. Russia” indicates that the accused (suspect / defendant) must be provided with confidential communication with their defenders, otherwise their assistance will lose a significant part of its usefulness, while the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is designed to guarantee rights that are enforceable in practice.
The next court session is scheduled for February 4, 2021 at 1:00pm. The International Society for Human Rights will continue to clarify details and monitor this proceeding.