Appeal Court overturns extension of Ihor Garkavenko’s remand in custody
The Kyiv Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal brought by journalist Ihor Garkavenko against the extension to his remand in custody. He is facing charges of damaging a granite slab during the protest by small business owners against the Tax Code on Maidan Nezalezhnosti or Independence Square in Kyiv.
As reported here, Ihor had declared a hunger strike on 1 March in protest at his imprisonment in the Kyiv SIZO (pre-trial detention centre). On that same day, at a press conference entitled “Prisoners of the Tax Code Maidan – the repressive machine of the President’s Administration in action”, lawyers representing Ihor, Oleh Lewytsky from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and Artem Belov said that the case bore all the hallmarks of political persecution.
On Thursday, the court’s ruling was announced by the Press Service of the Coalition of Participants in the Orange Revolution. They reported that Ihor had arrived at Maidan Nezalezhnosti in November 2010 in his capacity as a journalist. He had been held in custody for around two months on the above-mentioned charges although he had not been there when the tents were being erected at all.
The court overturned the District Court’s extension by another 2 months of his remand in custody, and changed the preventive measure to a signed undertaking not to abscond.