war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

The Prosecutor’s ever more dubious role in the Reva Case

The Prosecutor’s Office is showing reluctance to allow witnesses to be called. Dmytro Reva’s lawyers believe that the prosecution is worried that the witnesses will expose the shocking gaps in the case, in particular deception aimed at concealing the lack of any evidence whatsoever

The Prosecutor’s Office is taking a week out to consider whether the court requires what it calls “witnesses of Reva’s guilt”,  Dmytro Reva’s lawyers believe that the prosecution is worried that the witnesses will expose the shocking gaps in the case, in particular deception aimed at concealing the lack of any evidence whatsoever.

Dmytro Reva is one of four defendants facing charges linked with the four bomb blasts in Dnipropetrovsk on 27 April 2012 which injured over 30 people  Two men – Reva and Lev Prosvirnin – are accused of having acted as accomplices.  Both the other two defendants have clearly stated that neither man had anything to do with the crime.  One – Viktor Sukachev – has been on hunger strike in protest at the continued detention of Reva and Prosvirnin as well as other irregularities in the case.

The cases of both alleged “accomplices” are worrying however in Reva’s case the cynicism is particularly shocking since the actions he is accused of quite simply do not contain any elements of a crime.  This has been confirmed by a criminal law specialist, Mykola Khavronyuk, and thus far ignored by the Prosecutor and the courts.  

Over recent months the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Prosecutor has made a number of public assertions regarding the case.  She has repeatedly claimed that there is ample proof against all four men.  It is therefore significant that the Prosecutor’s Office now appears to be resisting attempts to question witnesses.

Reva is charged with having gone to the centre by prior arrangement on the day of the bombs to observe the reaction of the police and public and to inform the two men charged with planting the bombs “if necessary” so that the latter “could take further action”.  

This supposed “crime” is made even more bafflingly devoid of substance by the fact that the devices were based on chemical detonators.  Once set off (before Reva left work to pay a bill in the centre), they could go off at any time.  This means that although Reva was in the vicinity of two of the four bombs (those planted by the defendant he did not know), he could easily have missed them all.

An attempt by an SBU [Security Service officer) to falsify evidence at the outset (by using Reva’s already confiscated mobile to dial the number of another defendant) was thwarted.  Despite proof of this attempt, the Prosecutor is refusing to bring criminal charges against the officer, and neither the Prosecutor nor the judge are agreeing to release Reva from custody even though it was the supposed attempt to phone an accomplice which formed the grounds for his remand in custody. SBU Officer Pylypenko has, however, at the insistence of the defence been added to the list of witnesses in this case.

Reva’s lawyer, Vitaly Pogosyan has now applied to the court to call witnesses not called by the prosecution.  

These include people who the SBU believed (as evidenced in a letter from 28 May 2012, three days before the first arrests), could have been implicated in the crime, Reva’s workmates in the office of opposition MP Mykhailo Sokolov and the now former MP himself.

Another witness whom the prosecution had not called was a friend of Viktor Sukachev who like Reva and at around the same time received a text message from Sukachev asking if he and his family were OK.  The messages he and Reva received are extremely similar and yet only in Reva’s case was this message deemed by the investigators to indicate a conspiracy between the two men.

Perhaps most disturbingly, three of Dmytro Reva’s colleagues have not been called as witnesses despite the assertion in the indictment that they have pointed to Reva’s guilt.

The defence has called for all three to be called as witnesses, and now the Prosecutor’s Office is hesitating. The reason unfortunately seems all too clear. 


Halya Coynash

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