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Appeal on behalf of two Communist Party members on trial in Dnipetropetrovsk, Ukraine

The following is an edited translation of a report appearing on the Facebook page of the Dnipropetrovsk regional organization of the Communist Party of Ukraine, Aug. 14, 2015. Translation and editing by New Cold War.org, with the authorization of the original author.

 

Without a shred of proof except confusing testimony and pieces of evidence planted on the accused (the providence of which is unproven), authorities in the city of Dnipetropetrovsk, Ukraine have applied all sorts of tricks to place and keep two accused members of the Communist Party of Ukraine behind bars.

In late 2014, our comrades Sergey Tkachenko and Denis Timofeev of the Dneprodzerzhinsk city organization of the party were detained and placed in jail. They are charged under articles 263 and 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, accused of advocating “separatism” in eastern Ukraine by virtue of their antiwar opposition to the government’s ‘Anti-Terrorist Operation’ and of possession of weapons allegedly found in their homes.

Since then, several court hearings have been held. Neither prosecutors nor the judge, Tatiana Ivchenko, have been in any hurry to see justice delivered. The holiday season and summer heat were among the latest excuses used to delay proceedings. Meanwhile, our comrades, who have committed no criminal offence, have spent the entire time since their detention in stuffy cells in the detention facility. The point of this long waiting has become clear only now.

At the latest court session on August 6, a follow-up date was clearly set for August 13. However, on the 11th of August, Sergei Tkachenko and Denis Timofeev were suddenly taken from their detention centre to Zavodskoy district court of Dnipropetrovsk. Their attorneys, Maxim Kudryavtsev and Alexander Posternak, were not informed. Relatives of the accused also knew nothing of what was happening. Only by chance, at the last moment, did they come to learn of the “urgent” hearing, the reason being that August 11 happened to also be the date of a scheduled meeting in jail of Sergey and Denis with their families. That had been suddenly cancelled.

During the rushed hearing, and taking advantage of the absence of lawyers, Judge Ivchenko and Prosecutor Vladimir Belianska pressured our comrades, urging that they renounce their lawyers (who have defended them for almost a year) and instead use free lawyers provided by the state. The prosecutor and the judge alleged that the lawyers of the two have refused to represent them any further. If the suspects would accept state lawyers, they said, the case would be “quickly” reviewed and the sentence would be announced right there on August 11.

Tkachenko and Timofeev refused to succumb to these provocations and did not believe that their lawyers had given up their defense. They demanded the presence of their lawyers and their families at the hearings of their case. So the provocation organized by the authorities did not succeed.

At the next “scheduled” hearing, on 13 August, violations of the law continued. Firstly, two previous witnesses for the prosecution did not appear. When defense lawyers requested that the witnesses appear, the prosecutor snapped angrily, “We will take as long as we want for our witnesses to appear.”

Secondly, when the prosecutor began to outline the case against the accused, the judge, in violation of the law, did not allow defense lawyers to make objections when they noticed contradictions in testimony. The remarks of defense lawyers were systematically ignored by the judge, such that the atmosphere in the courtroom became heated as the public in attendance did not hold back its indignation at the behavior of judge. One of the defense lawyers lost consciousness and emergency medical responders had to be called right into the courtroom.

After medical assistance was provided, the court hearing proceeded. The unexpected break somewhat cooled the ardor of Judge Ivchenko. She began to behave noticeably more in accordance to the law, no longer avoiding defense petitions about contradictions in the details of the state’s case which defense lawyers wished to present. Submitted petitions were reviewed, and some even satisfied.

Also reviewed was the preventive detention of the two accused. As before, the prosecutor insisted on detention in isolation, with no attempt to justify such a harsh measure. The judge, as in earlier hearings, ruled that the Communists would continue to be confined in jail. They were denied an application to be held under house arrest and will continue to be detained, for the next two months until October 10.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for September 8.

* Background: A full background story to the arrests of Sergey Tkachenko and Denis Timofeev was translated and published on ‘Red Star Over Donbass’ on Jan. 21, 2015: The Trial of the Communists in Dneprodzerzhinsk, by Andriy Bondarenko.

* How you can demand a fair trial for the accused:

Send letters to:
Dnipropetrovsk Region Court
Dniprodzerzhinsk, Guby str. 5
Ukraine 51925
Website: http://zv.dp.court.gov.ua
E-mail: inbox@zv.dp.court.gov.ua

Sample letter in English:

Date:
Country of the sender:

To the District Court of Dnіprodzerzhinska,

I am writing to express my concern over the criminal accusations ​and trial against Sergey Tkachenko and Denis Timofeev ​which your court ​is hearing. I understand that the two have been charged​ under Articles ​110 and 263 of Ukraine’s criminal code.

According to my information, the two accused have been outspoken in favour of a peaceful resolution of the political conflict in eastern Ukraine. I share this view and see no reason why anyone in Ukraine should be criminally charged for expressing it.

I am concerned at the lengthy detention of the accused. Their applications for conditional release under house arrest while their trials proceed have been denied by your court. This seems a serious infringement of their rights.

I urge your court to proceed speedily with this case, including providing to defense lawyers all evidence which prosecutors say they hold against the accused.

Sincerely,
(Name)
(E-mail address)

Sample letter in Ukrainian:

Дата:_______

Країна:_______

Заводському райнному суду м. Дніпродзержинська

Я пишу, щоб висловити свою стурбованість щодо кримінальних звинувачень і судового розгляду справи проти Сергія Ткаченка та Дениса Тимофєєва, яку розглядає ваш суд.
Їх звинувачують за статтями 110 та 263 Кримінального кодексу України.

За моїми даними, двоє обвинувачених висловлювалися за мирне вирішення політичного конфлікту на сході Україні. Я поділяю цю точку зору і не бачу причин, чому хтось в Україні має бути притягнутим за це до кримінальної відповідальності.

Я також стурбований тривалим утриманням обвинувачених під вартою. Їх апелляції щодо умовного звільнення під домашній арешт на час судового розсідування були відхилені судом. Це здається мені серйозним обмеження їх прав.

Я закликаю ваш суд розглянути цю справу якомога швидше, зокрема забезпечуючи адвокатів всіма доказами, що мають бути висунуті прокурорами у відношенні обвинувачуваних.

З повагою, _______

E-mail: __________

* How you can assist the accused and their families, including with legal costs:

For USD transfer:
Account with institution, BIC BKTRUS33, DEUTSHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS, NEW YORK, USA
Beneficiary Bank: BIC SABRUAUK ‘SBERBANK OF RUSSIA’ JSC Kyiv, Ukraine CORRESPONDENT ACCOUNT NUMBER: 04421742
Beneficiary: /26200000112733 OLENA TKACHENKO

Or,
Account with Institution, BIC IRVTUS3N, THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, NEW YORK USA
Beneficiary Bank, BIC SABRUAUK ‘SBERBANK OF RUSSIA’ JSC Kyiv, Ukraine CORRESPONDENT ACCOUNT NUMBER: 8900646837
Beneficiary: /26200000112733 OLENA TKACHENKO

For Euro transfer:
Account with Institution, BIC DEUTDEFF DEUTSHE BANK AG, FRANKFURT/MAIN, GERMANY
Beneficiary Bank, BIC SABRUAUK ‘SBERBANK OF RUSSIA’ JSC Kyiv, Ukraine CORRESPONDENT ACCOUNT NUMBER: 100947712600 :59D Beneficiary: /26200000112733 OLENA TKACHENKO

Or:
Account with Institution, BIC COBADEFF COMMERZBANK AG FRANKFURT/MAIN, GERMANY
Beneficiary Bank, BIC SABRUAUK ‘SBERBANK OF RUSSIA’ JSC Kyiv, Ukraine CORRESPONDENT ACCOUNT NUMBER: 4008865602
Beneficiary: /26200000112733 OLENA TKACHENKO

http://newcoldwar.org/appeal-on-behalf-of-two-communist-party-members-on-trial-in-dnipetropetrovsk-ukraine/

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