Prosecutor accused of corruption over Olaolu Femi case
The caption reads Self-Defence is no crime!
The Postup Human Rights Centre says that on at least 5 occasions it has complained to the Prosecutor’s Office against police and Prosecutor’s Office infringements with regard to the case of Olaolu Femi, the Nigerian student held in custody since November 2011. Postup has called on the Luhansk Regional Prosecutor’s Office; the Prosecutor General and the Head of the SBU [Security Service] to investigate the continuing failure to act on these complaints.
Postup believes that such deliberate and stubborn unwillingness to look into the complaints suggests that there is a corrupt conspiracy between them aimed at protecting the police and Prosecutor staff running this case.
As well as the disturbing fact that Olaolu Femi has been charged at all, there have also been some overt irregularities in this case.
In November 2011 Nigerian student Olaolu Femi was charged with attempted murder after attempting to defend himself when he and a friend were physically attacked and hurled racist abuse by five young people. Olaolu managed to break free and began defending himself with a broken bottle. In defending himself he lashed out with the bottle, hitting his assailants. Three young men – V. Haman, D. Lemenchuk and A. Loboda received cuts to the arms, neck and head, while Iryna Pashkova who also took part in the incident was hit on the face and head. Olaolu Sunkami Femi was arrested 12 hours later and has been in detention ever since.
There have been worrying irregularities from the beginning in this case. Recently a “witness” suddenly appeared, just over a year after the incident and Olaolu’s arrest. The man in question was presented as the taxi driver who drove the two young men – Olaolu Femi and Oniola Sudadi. Denis Yevteyev could provide no information about when he had left the taxi firm in question for whom he supposedly freelanced, without any mention in his work record. He stated that he had collected three or four “Africans” from the medical institute and couldn’t say definitely that the accused and the main witness were among them, since they all look the same to him. He claims, however, that he remembers the events of that evening very well because his passengers were aggressive and noisy. He says there was a strong smell of alcohol and that the passenger in the front kept gesticulating, making it hard for him to drive.
He was unable to explain what this “aggression” consisted of and who it was directed at. He asserts there was a dispute, seemingly about who was to pay him, and that they abused him in foul language which despite his “school level English” he could understand.
Both Olaolu Femi and Eniola Sudadi before the man was questioned stated categorically that he was not the man who drove them back. Unfortunately they remember only that the driver seemed tall, with dark hair.
Denis Yevteyev was not only unable to give specific details of where he allegedly collected the young men from, but even details about the colour of the car he was supposedly driving.
The charges against Olaolu Femi could carry a sentence ranging from 15 years to life imprisonment.
Oleh Levytsky, UHHRU lawyer says that if Olaolu Femi is found guilty, then the case will need to be taken to the European Court of Human Rights. He points out that there was a similar case in 2008 in Kyiv when the victim of an attack, also from an African country, was “turned into” the assailant. Then the case was closed, however Oleh Levytsky says that if necessary he will revive it, issuing a suit against the claimant who knifed the young man back then in the chest. In that way both cases could end up in Strasbourg together.
A petition in support of Olaolu Femi can be signed