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20.12.2013

3-year suspended sentence for activist who complained

   

On Dec 19 the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv found Oleh Matiash guilty of assaulting a police officer during the scuffles outside the Cabinet of Ministers building on Nov 24, and imposed a three year suspended sentence with a 1 year trial period.  It seems likely that this was a settlement reached with Matiash himself pleading guilty and signing an agreement with the victim. 

As reported, Oleh Matiash was arrested on Nov 25 and initially remanded in custody for 2 months, with the prosecutor alleging that he was a potential danger to society.  He was released under house arrest last week.

His case aroused concern since he appeared to have been arrested for a second time after he complained of unlawful actions by the Berkut riot officers.  Matiash, who has grade 3 disability status and is a member of the VO Svoboda party was detained together with another VO Svoboda supporter and the son of Batkivshchyna MP, Tetyana Slyuz.  All were released, however Matiash lodged a complaint about what he alleged were Berkut’s unlawful actions and the Pechersky District Police Station detained him.  According to  MP Volodymyr Ariev he was beaten while being held in a temporary holding unit, despite having been diagnosed as having concussion and injuries. Ariev also asserted that there was no evidence against Matiash, and that the Berkut officer whom Matiash had supposedly injured did not seek medical assistance or in fact suffer any damage to health as a result of the scuffle.

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