Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
The right to a fair trial

Ivashchenko accuses judge of torture


Former Acting Defence Minister in Yulia Tymoshenko’s government, Valery Ivashchenko who was sentenced on Thursday to 5 years imprisonment, has accused presiding judge Serhiy Vovk of torture over his treatment on Monday this week. As reported, Mr Ivashchenko was brought to the Pechersky District Court because the State Penitentiary Service had stated that he was fit to take part in the court hearing. This “hearing”, however, took place in the convoy room with Mr Ivashchenko laid out on a stretcher.  The outgoing Human Rights Ombudsperson, Nina Karpachova, whom Mr Ivashchenko specifically thanks in Thursday’s statement, called the format for the hearing, with Mr Ivashchenko, lying on a stretcher throughout, a flagrant violation of human rights.  The smaller room also enabled the court to heavily restrict the number of people present at what should have been an open court hearing.

In a statement issued to the press, Mr Ivashchenko writes of his treatment on 9 April. He says that despite being unable, due to his state of health, to take part in the hearing, Judge Vovk categorically ordered that he be brought to the Pechersky District Court building on Khreshchatyk.  He writes that he was suffering acute back pain which made even lying through the hearing agonizingly painful.

He writes that when he objected vehemently, Vovk “cynically answered that I had exhausted all possibilities for making applications, they had been considered on 5 April, and it was now another, next stage of the court trial (court debate)”.

Mr Ivashchenko is scathing about what he calls the lies spoken by the Prosecutor, Pavlo Koval who told the media, for example, that Mr Ivashchenko was able to use the toilet during breaks and that there was water during the hearing that he could drink. He says that both doors from the corridor and the street were blocked off by the convoy, and that the only concession made was a break to allow a doctor to give him another painkiller injection.

Mr Ivashchenko thanks the Human Rights Ombudsperson for having attended the court hearing, and having officially approached the High Qualification Commission of Judges demanding that they bring the three judges responsible for the extraordinary court “hearing” on Monday to answer. These judges were Serhiy Vovk, Oksana Tsarevych and Volodymyr Karabanya.

Reported by UNIAN

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