war crimes in Ukraine

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«Dobrochyn» Centre protests suspended sentence for convicted paedophile


On 28 January the first hearing took place in the Chernihiv Regional Court of Appeal of an appeal lodged by the prosecutor’s office and representatives of the victim against the verdict of the Koryukivsky District Court on 2 December 2008.

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 - effectively rape of a small child. The court handed down a three year suspended sentence with the probation period being three years.

The Prosecutor’s appeal asks for the acquittal part of the judgment to be revoked and the sentence changed to the maximum possible for the crime under Article 153, that being 8 years imprisonment.

The victim (a five-year-old girl) and her family are being represented by a lawyer from the civic organization “Dobrochyn” (for no fee). The lawyer has asked that Vetokh be found guilty of both charges as above and given the maximum for both of 12 years.

Since the appeal envisages a worse outcome for the defendant, a full review has been ordered for 16 February.  “Dobrochyn” issued a statement on 30 January calling on all to follow this crucial case.

In an article published at , an account is given of the ordeal of a very small child who has been seriously traumatized by the experience. If the details of the article are correct, then all medical and psychologists’ tests corroborate the most serious allegations against the defendant.  The article also suggests that the case has taken this inexplicable turn due to the position of the defendant’s son.  

“Dobrochyn” have promised to send us the court’s justification early next week, and we will pass this and any other information on to the reader.

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