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Trial begins of alleged Vasilkiv terrorists



The trial began on 4 January of three members of the nationalist organization “Patriot of Ukraine” who are charged with planning a terrorist attack, public calls to commit such acts of terrorism and unlawful preparation of an explosive device. The charges were read out and then the case was adjourned until 24 January.

The Security Service [SBU] assert that at the end of August 2011 they searched the organization’s office in Vasilkiv (Kyiv region) and found a homemade explosive device filled with various screws, etc, as well as “leaflets with extremist content”.

The Patriot of Ukraine members say that the items were planted and categorically deny any such preparation for a terrorist act.

The young men’s lawyer, Dmytro Loshakov says that his clients deny the charges and asserts that the investigation is being run in a biased manner.

The men are all being held in a SIZO [detention centre] and were brought to court in handcuffs. 

During the court hearing one of the accused, Volodymyr Shpara applied for permission to video the hearings so that “people see whether we’re living in Ukraine or in a Soviet place where the SBU work using KGB methods”.

The judge allowed the application in part, permitting video recording during the court debates which have not yet begun.

The case is among those which have aroused concern among human rights groups.

Ihor Mosiychuk, Serhiy Bevz and Volodymyr Shpara are accused of planning to blow up the monument to Lenin on the town square in Boryspil, Kyiv region.

From a report at the BBC Ukrainian Service

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