At Least 94 Judges from RF Work in Crimean ‘Courts’

The Crimean Human Rights Group experts have collected and categorized the information on the citizenship of persons who award illegally judgements in Crimea.

For the period of the occupation, 463 people were appointed to the “courts” of general jurisdiction and the “courts” of appeal of Crimea by edicts of the President of the Russian Federation. Among them 312 are citizens of Ukraine, who, in the vast majority, were previously judges in Crimea before the occupation or worked in the justice system of Ukraine. At least 94 “judges” are the Russian Federation nationals. As to remaining 57, the attempts to identify their citizenship have failed yet.

It should be taken into account that as of November 2019 not all “judges” appointed by Vladimir Putin to Crimea have been still working. Within this period, 129 of them were dismissed or died. In 2019, 7 people were transferred from the “Supreme Court of the Republic of Crimea” and the “Sevastopol City Court” to the cassational courts in the Russian Federation.

It is important to point out the citizenship of the “judges” dismissed and transferred from Crimea.

Out of 129 dismissed “judges”, at least 106 are citizens of Ukraine, and 9 are citizens of the Russian Federation; for the remaining 14 persons, the citizenship has not been determined yet. In addition, of 9 Russian judges who worked in Crimea, 2 ceased their activities due to the death, which means that in fact, only 7 Russians resigned. The number of former Ukrainian judges dismissed exceeds the number of the dismissed judges from the Russian Federation several times. This may demonstrate the occupying authorities intention to replace local (former Ukrainian) “judges” with citizens of the Russian Federation.

It is also interesting that all 7 “judges” who were transferred from Crimea to the Russian Federation are citizens of the Russian Federation. Before the occupation, they were judges in various regions of the Russian Federation, for several years they awarded or approved illegal sentences, and then they appointed on higher ranking positions at the cassational courts in the Russian Federation. It should be noted that among the transferred from Crimea to the Russian Federation are Oksana Aykasheva, Andrey Paliy, Olga Plastinina, Sergey Rubanov and Natalya Cherevatenko, who took part in a politically motivated or religious based persecution in Crimea. For example, Paliy sentenced Yevgeny Panov and Konstantin Davydenko, the defendants of the ‘Ukrainian Commandos Case’. Rubanov and Paliy upheld the judgemens on keeping Ukrainian sailors in custody. Aykasheva, Paliy, Plastinina, Rubanov, and Cherevatenko decreed on keeping the defendants of the ‘Crimean Muslims Case’ in custody 43 times. To prevent the “judges” who participated in the political persecution in the occupied Crimea, from escaping a responsibility due to moving from Crimea to the Russian Federation, the CHRG considers it necessary to document such crimes and include these people in the sanctions lists.

According to the conclusion of the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Office (ICC), Crimea is an occupied territory in the framework of the ongoing international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Ukraine has recognized the ICC jurisdiction for the situation in the Crimea, and all violations of international humanitarian law on the occupied peninsula fall within the ICC. Such violations include enforcing the Russian criminal law in the occupied territory of Ukraine.

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