Participants in a protest action entitled “Just deserts?” gathered outside the Chernihiv Regional Court of Appeal at 9.30 on Monday, 16 February. They were expressing their anger over the verdict of the Koryukivsky District Court on 2 December 2008. As reported here, O.D. Vetokh from Ponornytsya, had been charged under Article 153 § 3 (violent satisfying of sexual desire in an unnatural manner committed against a small child) and Article 156 § 2 (depravation of a minor, with respect to a small child). He was, however, only convicted of the crime under Article 156 § 2, and acquitted of that under Article 153.
The court handed down a three year suspended sentence with the probation period being three years. This was the second attempt at an appeal hearing into the case, with the appeal having been brought by the prosecutors office and representatives of the victim. However it was adjourned for an indefinite period due to an appeal being lodged by the other side.
The protest was jointly organized by the Dobrochyn Centre and the Chernihiv Human Rights Centre who are planning to monitor developments in the case and plan to defend the honour and dignity of the child at all court levels, ending if necessary in the European Court of Human Rights.