Court sends Taras Zelenyak case back to the prosecutor


The Sovyetsky District Court in Novosibirsk, at the fourth hearing on Thursday 16 November, ordered that the case be returned to the prosecutor to reformulate the prosecution charges in the criminal case against resident of Novosibirsk’s Akademgorodok Taras Zelenyak, accused of “inciting ethnic, racial or religious enmity” over the Internet.

According to Interfax, Judge Garaeva stated the following: “The prosecution charges do not specify the aims and motives of the defendant’s actions, nor do they specify the words which he used to carry out these intentions which make it impossible to issue a lawful and well-founded judgment”.

She also noted that the prosecution’s evidence gave insufficient evidence of the public nature of Zelenyak’s actions.

The relevant application had been submitted by the defence counsel.

As reported here (many times!) the criminal proceedings against 36-year-old resident of Novosibirsk, Taras Zelenyak were launched in February 2006 under Article 282 § 1 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code (“inciting ethnic, racial or religious enmity”) after the director of the company “First Mile”, the provider, approached the regional office of the FSB with a statement about worrying messages coming from Taras Zelenyak.

The investigators claim that from January 2005, Zelenyak posted forum messages on a Ukrainian site which contacted the words “katsapy” and “moskali” [derogatory terms for Russians, but not obscene – translator) offending Russians’ national dignity. He is also alleged to have in all ways stressed “the natural superiority of the Ukrainian people over the Russian”.

In the computer removed from Zelenyak’s home, all texts attributed to him were found although he told journalists during the hearing break that he was not the author.


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