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.

Reva Trial: The Court really doesn’t want to know

Halya Coynash
The court has shown itself to be extremely selective in the witnesses it sees the need to question and is refusing to call a person who received a message similar to that which in Dmytro Reva’s case is claimed to incriminate him

The trial continues of four men charged in connection with bomb blasts in Dnipropetrovsk on 27 April 2012.   Each day brings more grounds for concern, such as purportedly vital evidence which the prosecution has “mislaid”.  None of this appears to worry the court which has now shown itself to be extremely selective in the witnesses it sees the need to question. . 

On 21 August it rejected an application to call a witness who received a text message almost identical to that received by Dmytro Reva.  As reported many times, Reva is accused of having been an accomplice to the two main defendants.  The supposedly incriminating action – of being near two of four explosions –  would be inadequate even if explosives experts had not confirmed that there was no way of knowing which device would detonate when, meaning that he might have missed them all since he was on his lunch break.  The prosecution has claimed that a brief exchange of text messages with one of the two people accused of planting the bombs, who Reva had studied and worked with shows complicity. 

In that exchange Reva was asked if all was OK, and if “none of our lot” were hurt, and answered that yes, everything was OK.  The prosecution has never explained how this incriminates Reva, nor why it incriminates him, but not other people who received similar messages.

The defence had asked for two people to be called as witnesses, both of whom received such messages.  The court rejected one of these applications despite the obvious need, pointed out by Reva himself, to ascertain the circumstances around an exchange of messages analogous to his, but not deemed to be suspicious.  D. Reva’s lawyers note that the person in question, Dmytro Hryshentsev is believed to have support from people within the Security Service [SBU] and influential relatives.  In 2012 his father was head of the regional group of the State Security Department. 

To state what should be obvious, it does not matter what friends or relatives in high places Hryshentsev has. What matters is that on that crucial day in April 2012 he received a text message analogous to that received by Dmytro Reva and at least one other person.  With no other evidence against Reva, the prosecution decided that his exchange of text messages was incriminating.  It considered also that there was no need to call in the two others to find out why their exchanges were not.

Most worryingly, with respect to one of the two other people the court has gone along with this.

There have been indications over the last week that the irregularities in this case are not only connected with Dmytro Reva.  Part of the charges against the two main may end up withdrawn altogether and this for the most compelling of reasons.  The two are alleged to have begun their bombing campaign in October 2011 in Kharkiv with two blasts.  It became clear in court that the letter threatening further blasts if money was not paid appeared – in remarkably clean and unruffled form – on top of the exploded urn after the police arrived.  As for the second “bomb”, this was first mentioned six months later.

These are not small matters.  Two defendants have confessed either fully (Vitaly Fedoryak) or partially (Viktor Sukachev).  This almost certainly indicates that they confessed to at least one bomb blast which they not only did not organize, but which did not in fact happen.  Questions most definitely need to be asked.

In the case of Dmytro Reva, however, there is nothing contradictory at all.  Reva has consistently denied any involvement.  He is charged with actions which contain no elements of a crime and was remanded in custody at the end of May 2012 on the basis of a faked call proven to have been made by an SBU officer. 

How much political profiling had to do with Reva (who worked together with Sukachev for an opposition MP) being chosen for the role of accomplice is unclear. What is disturbingly apparent is that the court which should be on the side of justice sees its loyalties as lying elsewhere. 

 Share this