The Taras Zelenyak case is, unfortunately, continuing
The Sovyetsky District Prosecutor has returned to the district court a criminal file concerning Novosibirsk resident Taras Zelenyak, accused of inciting inter-ethnic enmity on a Ukrainian Internet forum site.
According to the Prosecutor Maxim Mozolyak: “Zelenyak has again been charged, and this time the prosecution documents contain the entire collection of obscene words and expression that he used in communicating on the forum”,
The court proceedings will be resumed at the Sovyetsky District Court in the first days of March. Mozolyak says: “The hearings will start from the very beginning. There will be new questioning of witnesses, and possibly a new judge will hear the case”.
It was previously reported, citing Mozolyak, that the court had declared the prosecutions conclusion regarding Zelenyak inadequate and the Prosecutor had been forced in chronological order to add to the conclusion all the words and expressions in order to prove his guilt.
Mozolyak noted that in carrying out investigations into other cases, linked with verbal expressions, the Prosecutor had avoided verbatim quoting of obscenities used by the accused. “The wording of the charges was always neutral and proper. This is the first case when we have to change the established rule”.
In the middle of November last year the Sovyetsky District Court in Novosibirsk, taking into consideration the application of Zelenyaks defence lawyer, returned the criminal file to the prosecutors office to reformulate the prosecution charges.
Judge Garaeva stated the following: “The prosecution charges do not specify the aims and motives of the defendants 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 prosecutions evidence gave insufficient evidence of the public nature of Zelenyaks actions.
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 proua.com 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 Zelenyaks home, all texts attributed to him were found although he told journalists during the hearing break that he was not the author.
Please follow the links indicated which show clearly that there are serious questions regarding:
i) Zelenyaks authorship
ii) Procedural questions – whether the computer was sealed in Zelenyaks presence, etc
iii) Obviously the entire question of whether the forum entries do in fact incite inter-ethnic emnity