Monitoring the case of Andrei Tatarintsev (session 04/30/2020)

On April 30, 2020, a hearing was held in the Kuybishevsky District Court of the Zaporozha Region in the case of Andrei Tatarintsev, accused of participating in a terrorist organization, aiding in conducting an aggressive war by prior conspiracy by a group of people, and cruel treatment of prisoners of war and civilians. In fact, the accused after 2014 continued to carry out entrepreneurial activities in the territory bordering the uncontrolled by the Ukrainian government territories of the Eastern Ukraine (trading in diesel fuel from a tank farm).

Experts from the International Society for Human Rights continue to monitor this lawsuit.

Before the trial, Andrei Tatarintsev informed his lawyer that he was given dry ration (a sweet cookie and bread and butter) for breakfast in the pre-trial detention center and that he could not eat these products – they are not dietary food for diabetes. Accordingly, he was not able to take sugar-lowering pills, which are used simultaneously with food. The consequence of this was poor health, high blood pressure, dizziness and dry mouth.

The course of the trial.

At the beginning of the trial, the court announced that the defendant had provided the legal aid agreement with another lawyer, V. Kravtsov, who asked court to be admitted to the criminal proceedings as an advocate and to declare a short break for the possibility of confidential communication with his client. The participants in the trial did not object, and the panel of judges on the spot decided to satisfy the motion.

After the break, the new defender of the accused filed a petition for the court to call an ambulance, so that the doctors once again testify to the state of health of the accused. The court clarified with the accused about his state of health and decided to call an ambulance team.

Ambulance paramedic told the court that Andrei Tatarintsev had high blood pressure of 160/95 at a normal  rate of 120/80 and high sugar 11.3 at a rate of 5.5, a moderate health condition and he urgently needed to take dietary food and take sugar-lowering pills, and continue to follow a diet, otherwise serious consequences are possible, including a diabetic coma. When asked by lawyer Vladimir Lyapin, the paramedic confirmed that cookies and bread and butter are not suitable as diet food.

Defender V. Kravtsov, with the consent of the accused, requested that the patient’s information sheet with the diagnoses: “Vegetative-vascular dystonia of the hypertonic type, type 1 diabetes mellitus”, which issued an ambulance paramedic, be included in the case file. He filed a motion to stop the trial, considering the severe long-term illness of Andrei Tatarintsev, guided by Article 335 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine, due to the fact that criminal proceedings have not been examined for more than 20 months on the merits due to the health status of his client. The second lawyer filed a request for the inclusion of another patient information sheet confirming the defendant’s illness.

Attorney Vladimir Lyapin again drew attention to the fact that in such a difficult health state it is impossible to hold a court session, that the State continues to ignore the implementation of the 2018 decision of the Kuibyshevsky court on providing adequate treatment and dietary nutrition for the accused in jail. He reminded that diabetes is a disease that injures the blood vessels of the brain and if pills are not taken in a timely manner, serious consequences are possible, and he supported the request of his colleague.

The enforcement of court decisions is part of the right to a fair trial under Art. 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This is also a necessary condition of the rule of law enshrined in Art. 8 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

There is no point in justice if court decisions are not enforced. This greatly deepens the distrust to the judicial branch of government and to the government as a whole.

The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly drawn attention to this problem. It admitted the violation of the right to a fair trial in the case of “Yuri Nikolaevich Ivanov v. Ukraine”.

The prosecutor stated that the defense was abusing its rights, delaying the consideration of the case and trying to avoid any consideration of the indictment by any action. In his opinion, the accused must be provided with the necessary food and medicines and continue the trial. The defense confirmed that it is necessary to postpone the examination of the indictment on the merits each time due to the poor health of Andrei Tatarintsev, which is confirmed by the ambulance paramedic at each hearing, given that the accused was not fed and did not provide necessary dietary food.

The court ruled to reject the application.

The ECtHR reiterates that Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms enshrines one of the fundamental values ​​of a democratic society. In absolute terms, it prohibits torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, irrespective of the circumstances or behavior of the victim (“Labit v. Italy”, Grand Chamber).

The new defense attorney filed a motion to postpone the trial to another date due to the state of health of the client and his inability to express his opinion on the issues raised, as well as with the hope that the state of health of the accused could improve.

On the positive side regarding the observance of the principle of reasonableness of the time limits for the consideration of the case, it can be noted that after agreeing with all participants in the trial, the court set several dates for judicial review in the coming months on 05.08.2020, 06.10.2020, 06.18.2020 and 07.01.2020.

The International Society for Human Rights will continue to monitor this trial.