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03.03.2015 | Halya Coynash

Mustafa Dzhemiliev’s hostage son to be tried by jury in Russia

   

A Krasnodar court has allowed an application from Khaiser Dzhemiliev’s lawyers and appointed trial by jury, with the preliminary hearing scheduled for March 3.  While it was difficult to expect justice from an ordinary Russian court, Khaiser is held illegally in Russian detention, and should not be tried there at all.

The government-controlled RIA Novosti consistently refers to Khaiser Dzhemiliev as ‘son of a Rada deputy’ which is correct, but still conceals very important information.   Khaiser’s father is Mustafa Dzhemiliev, Ukrainian MP and veteran Crimean Tatar leader whom Russia banned from his native Crimea, now under Russian occupation, in April 2014.   There are strong grounds for believing that Russia is trying to using Khaiser to exert pressure on the former Soviet political prisoner whom the Kremlin clearly also views as an enemy.

RIA Novosti claims that the case was referred to the Russian Supreme Court after being investigated in Crime because the ‘republican court in Crimea has yet to be formed” since Russian annexation.  The Supreme Court supposedly ruled that it should be heard by a Krasnodar court.   By taking Khaiser Dzhemiliev to Russia, they have prevented his elderly mother and other relatives visiting him and made contact with his defence much harder. 

Moscow is also clearly trying to divert attention from its continued contempt for the European Court of Human Rights which on July 10 last year applied Rule 39, ordering the young Dzhemiliev’s release from custody.

In May 2013 Khaiser Dzhemiliev shot and killed Fevzi Edemov who was working as a guard to the family.  All the evidence indicates that this was a tragic accident, and that the correct charge should be of manslaughter through careless use of firearms.

It was under Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency that attempts were first made to use the case against Khaiser to blackmail Mustafa Dzhemiliev and to claim deliberate homocide.  These attempts were continued by Russia following it’s annexation of Crimea.  The case however was passed by the Ukrainian authorities to the Kyiv prosecutor on the basis of the Ukrainian Law on the Occupied Territory.  An application was made to requalify the crime as manslaughter through carelessness, and this was allowed.  Two Kyiv courts have now ruled that Khaiser should be released from custody. 

It was because these rulings were ignored that Dzhemiliev approached the European Court of Human Rights, which ordered Khaiser Dzhemiliev’s release. 

Instead of complying with the Court, whose rulings are binding, Russia moved the young Ukrainian national to Russia where he now awaits a trial that few expect to be just.

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