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03.09.2013

Dnipropetrovsk Trial: Selective Approach to Evidence continues

   

The court in the trial of four men charged over the bomb blasts in April 2012 has refused to call a Regions Party MP as witness despite indications that his evidence might have bearing on the case.  This is not the first time that the court has turned down applications to call witnesses who could refute the version put forward by the prosecution.  As reported here, the court also rejected an application to call a person who was sent a text message almost identical to that which one of the men standing trial - Dmytro Reva - received.  In Reva’s case, the prosecution has claimed that the message is incriminating. 

On Monday one of the two defendants accused of organizing the blasts, Viktor Sukachev, applied for the court to call 36 witnesses. These included people who he believes have information of importance but were not called by the prosecution.

They include Victoria Shylova, a Deputy of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council who has suggested that she has information about the possible involvement of Ivan Stupak, as well as the latter who is now a Party of the Regions MP.

The panel of judges totally supported the public prosecutor and rejected the application, stating that they saw no grounds for calling them.

During the investigation stage, Shylova offered to give testimony which could point to Stupak’s involvement.  Stupak was then Deputy Governor with responsibility for liaison with the law enforcement bodies and had held high posts in the regional departments of both the Interior Ministry and SBU [Security Service]. 

Her testimony at investigation stage was previously protected under the secrecy of investigation clause in the old Criminal Procedure Code.  Now it is being kept from the public by the court.

This is only one of an enormous number of disturbing elements in this case. 

As reported, the bombs on 27 April 2012 were reported worldwide because of the approaching Euro 2012 Soccer Championship which Ukraine was co-hosting. 

Arrests were announced exactly one week before the first match in Ukraine.  The Prosecutor General asserted then that there was sufficient evidence against all men.  This was quite simply false.  In one case, there is not only no evidence, but the charges laid lack any element of a crime.  Over recent weeks it has become clear that there are grave flaws in the entire case.  

(Halya Coynash)

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