Vladimir Balukh was sentenced to 3 years and 7 months of imprisonment in Crimea
The “judge” of the Razdolnoie District Court, Elena Tedeeva, sentenced Ukrainian activist Vladimir Balukh to 3 years and 7 months in a colony settlement (open prison) and a fine of 10,000 rubles. The Ukrainian was taken into custody right in the courtroom today, on January 16, 2018.
Balukh was convicted of illegal possession of ammunition and explosives that were allegedly found in the attic of his house. Balukh did not admit his guilt. On reconsideration of the case the judge again ignored the evidence of the innocence of the Ukrainian and the facts of falsification of evidence against him.
The court sentenced Vladimir Balukh in August 2017 to three years and seven months in a colony settlement (open prison), as well as a fine of ten thousand rubles. During the consideration of the appeal, the judgment was overturned and the case was sent for retrial.
The defense of Vladimir Balukh stated that the case against the Ukrainian was fabricated, and his judgment would be appealed in higher authorities
At the court session, the “prosecutor” Dmitrii Koroliov asked to sentence Vladimir Balukh to 5 years and 1 month of imprisonment in the colony-settlement, as well as a fine of 20 thousand rubles. In addition, the prosecutor requests to change the measure of restraint for the Ukrainian activist from house arrest to detention on remand.
The prosecutor ignored all the evidence of the defense and stated that the guilty of Vladimir Balukh has been proven, despite the fact that no evidence has been considered and there is no fact that indicates on acquiring ammunition. The judgment will be delivered tomorrow, January 16, at 2pm.
The lawyer in the debate drew attention to the fact that the majority of prosecution witnesses were not questioned in the court, the evidence obtained during the search cannot be considered as such, since they were obtained in violation of the law, including fake signatures of Palagin, the head of the FSB in Crimea. In addition, the defense drew attention to the fact that one of the prosecution witnesses is a mentally ill person, and one of the five volumes of the criminal case was not investigated. In the end, the defense urged the prosecution and the court to learn the legislation now, so that they do not have to do it in the place of Balukh. The defense stated that the judgment must be justifying.
The FSB detained the activist on December 8, 2016. The FSB claimed that they have found 90 pieces of ammunition and several TNT checkers in the attic of the house where the activist lives. Vladimir Balukh was taken into custody.
The “court” changed the measure of restraint for the Ukrainian on December 1, 2017 from detention on remand to house arrest, for a period of two months.
Flagrant violations of fundamental human rights and procedural norms of de facto Russian legislation in Crimea, as well as unreasonable decisions to extend the term of detention indicate that a criminal case against Ukrainian activist Vladimir Balukh is fabricated for political reasons.