Student will remain in custody over beheaded bust of Stalin
Zaporizhya history student Edward Andryushchenko, suspected of having cut off the head of a monument to Stalin remains in custody. The Zaporizhya Regional Court of Appeal on Monday rejected the appeal lodged by Andryushchenko’s lawyer, Sydor Kizin.
Mr Kizin said that the court had been presented with appeals from his client’s university, as well as letters from the Zaporizhya Regional Building and Architectural Inspectorate on the need to dismantle the “monument to Stalin”. It was also given evidence showing that Andryushchenko had not been in the area of the Communist Party regional committee (obkom – the monument had stood on this, privately owned, property – translator) at the time of the event.
The court nonetheless rejected the appeal. According to Andryushchenko’s lawyer, the court has effectively left his client in custody for the duration of the investigation.
“The court ruling is totally absurd. At the present time there absolutely no grounds for holding a person suspected of “hooliganism” in custody for a second month. And this is when his involvement in the “hooliganism” is in no way ascertained”, Mr Kizin said.
“If we add that Andryushchenko is a law-abiding person who has neither the wish nor reason to hide and is entirely willing to appear at court hearings, then all that is happening looks like extraordinary cynicism, and nothing other than political repression”, he added.
The highly controversial monument was erected on 5 May 2010 on the territory of the Zaporizhya Communist Party obkom.
On 28 December the bust was decapitated, then on 31 December an explosion took place which totally destroyed the monument.
The SBU [Security Service) in the Zaporizhya region is investigating the incident as an act of “terrorism”.