war crimes in Ukraine

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When will they decide you’re a criminal?

06.07.2013    source:

Vitaly Pogosyan. lawyer defending Dmytro Reva, one of the men accused over the Dnipropetrovsk bomb blasts on 27 April 2012 writes that Reva has now been in custody for more than a year though there is no proof whatsoever of any guilt.

“It is difficult to understand the logic of those who keep him behind bars with effectively no grounds. The defence is therefore inclined to seek judgement beyond Ukraine.

I have been Dmytro Reva’s lawyer since his arrest.  I would like my version, that of Reva’s defence, to be heard by the public and the authorities.

Terrorist acts are too dangerous for those charged with them being simply chosen from chance passers-by. In that situation any of us can be made a terrorist just as anyone, without the conscience, honour or necessary knowledge, often becomes somebody who determines people’s fate.

On 27 April 2012 there were four bomb blasts which hurt several dozen people. On 31 May four people were arrested on terrorist charges.

Since November the trial has been underway in the Industrialny Court in Dnipropetrovsk.

Within several days of the bomb blasts three identikit pictures of people believed to be involved were circulated in the media, and then several days later yet another identikit.

On 28 May the head of the relevant branch of the SBU [Security Service] for the Dnipropetrovsk oblast issued a report to the investigators “regarding contacts” of the two men who were already under surveillance – V. Sukachev and V. Fedoryak. 

That report points to 14 people who it says could be aware of Sukachev’s alleged involvement; and 5 people who could be aware of Fedoryak’s alleged involvement.

Among the 14 people was Dmytro Reva.  However, according to the report, he in no way stands out in ways that would warrant particular attention.

Unlike the father of one of the suspects who had died a month earlier, yet was, according to the report, still under surveillance.

At the same time on 31 May 2012 investigation teams arrived at the homes of Sukachev, Fedoryak and almost all the people on the report lists. Searches were carried out.

During the search of Dmytro Reva’s flat one of the officers Pylypenko made a telephone call from Reva’s mobile to the mobile of Sukachev.  In this way evidence was fabricated to suggest that Reva had decided to tell his accomplices of a possible search.

The fact that Pylypenko made the call and not Reva was later established by the investigators. The Prosecutor’s Office was as a result forced to exclude this part of the indictment. 

However on 31 May 2012 it was that supposed call which served as grounds for remanding Reva in custody.

Nothing was found in his flat which could in any way suggest his involvement in terrorist activities.

In legal language a person known to be innocent has been charged with criminal liability, and evidence has been falsified. This falls under Article 372 § 2 of the Criminal Code. 

Vitaly Pogosyan repeats some of the details already reported here a number of times, and these are omitted.

Despite the fact that no evidence of Reva’s involvement in the terrorist acts, the arrest protocol from 31 May 2012 states “witnesses directly point to the given person as the person who committed the crime, and in his home clear signs of a crime envisaged by Article 258 § 2 of the Criminal Code were found”.

This is total fabrication.

It became clear in October when we were able to read the file material that not one person, neither any of the accused or witnesses, identified Reva as implicated in the crime.

Reva himself, during a long interrogation on 1 June, gave an extremely detailed account of what he did on 27 April. All of it has been proven irrefutably, through testimony of witnesses; records on his mobile phone; cctv surveillance, etc.

The author points out that he, as Reva’s lawyer, provided some of this proof to the court on 2 June 2012.   This should in itself have been sufficient to convince the court that Reva was not involved.  As should the fact that the phone call used to justify his remand in custody had been falsified.

He notes also that the appeal against the detention order was heard after it was demonstrated that the phone call from his flat on 31 May 2012 had been made not by Reva, but by SBU Officer Pylypenko.

And yet the appeal was rejected (as have been later applications for Reva’s release).

In reading the case material, we found six reports from the head of the relevant department of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional SBU stating that there was no information to suggest that Reva was aware of the alleged terrorist activities of Sukachev or anybody else.

Thus the constant references to “investigative data” to justify keeping Reva in detention are also fiction – there was no such data. 

As of early July 2013 there have been eight applications to change the preventive measure and release Reva from custody.  

The author notes that during the court hearings the prosecution has not asked Reva even one question which could indicate any involvement in criminal activity.

No other defendant have denied any involvement in the terrorist acts.  Yet the Prosecutor General’s Office has asserted to the press that all proof is available.

According to a specialist on criminal law, Professor Mykola Khavronyuk, has given an assessment of the charges.  He states that there are no elements of a crime in Reva’s impugned activities. The prosecution has claimed that Khavronyuk is a theorist, whereas they are involved in practical work.

Vitaly Pogosyan notes drily that nobody needs investigative prosecutor activities formed as a result of ignoring the lack of any evidence of guilt and on the basis only of the investigators’ and Prosecutor’s opinion. 

The defence will be using all means within their disposal, and have already applied to the European Court of Human Rights.  They have no doubt that the judgment will be in Reva’s favour, but this is at some future date and Reva remains in custody now.

„I am convinced that in this case some kind of compromise can be reached, beginning with an immediate change in preventive measures – then Reva as the victim of investigator-prosecutor indifference and disregard for the law will find it in him to be charitable to his present-date tormenters.

They probably also have children, like Dmytro Reva

Abridged from the text by Vitaly Pogosyan, defence lawyer  here

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