Nariman Dzhelial and Akhtemov brothers made last statements in the “Supreme Court” of Crimea. They claimed that the case had been cooked, they had been tortured after the detention, and the case was framed up and political.
“What are they trying to convince us of? That torture has become routine? Have you ever been tortured? Threatened to kill loved ones? Even trained people are unable to bear it, and being tortured they begin to say and confess what they have not done. For 8 years we have been observing the brutal methods of the FSB work. According to them, the truth may be only what suits them, in order to once again stigmatize the Crimean Tatar people. How can we talk about justice, when on one scale are innocent people who are imprisoned only because it pleases the authorities, and on the other – this authority for which it easier to place a person in jail to be ultimately promoted and praised by their rulers,” Aziz Akhtemov said.
Asan Akhtemov said that the blowing up of the gas pipeline was a reason to accuse and imprison Nariman Dzhelial, deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars. The security agency men were telling him this clearly during the torture, noting that Dzhelial’s trip to the Crimea Platform was the last straw.
“Everything other than an acquittal and release of us from the courtroom will be a crime, contrary to common sense and a disgrace to the entire judicial system of the Russian Federation. But knowing about the principles of this system, I very much doubt that the court will make a fair decision. The judicial system of the Russian Federation, unfortunately, is arranged in such a way that the acquittal of the innocent is something from the realm of fantasy. According to official data, the number of acquittals in the Russian Federation is about 0.5%. Just think! The chance of winning a billion rubles in the lottery is much higher than proving your innocence in court. And the fact that this criminal case was fabricated against us as activists of the Crimean Tatar national movement, for political reasons, generally equates to zero the chance of an acquittal,” Asan Akhtemov noted in his speech.
Nariman Dzhelial said that he considered repressions against him and his friends a predictable result of his journalistic and social activities as well as revenge and an attempt to inspire fear for having own opinion.
“Why did you go to the Crimea Platform?” Having heard this phrase, I immediately understood why I had to sit handcuffed with a bag on my head, surrounded by FSB men, who forced me to confess to participation in blowing up the gas pipeline. It is quite obvious that my trip to the Crimea Platform summit is just a trigger. If not in September 2021 after returning from Kyiv, then in February 2022, after the start of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, I would have been arrested and subjected to the same illegal actions by the Russian security agencies, Nariman Dzhelial believes. ‘Because, in line with my moral certainty, I have not kept silence, naming properly the socio-political phenomena and events that have taken place in Crimea since 2014. You may call occupation – integration, war – a special operation, and political repressions – justice: this does not change the sense of illegality, and often meanness, vileness of many current phenomena.”
The verdict is to be announced on September 21.
To remind: on August 17, the “Supreme Court” of Crimea held a debate between the parties in the case of Nariman Dzhelial and the Akhtemov brothers: the “prosecutor” requested 15 years in prison as well as a fine of RUR600,000.
To remind: on July 25, the “Supreme Court” of Crimea extended the detention of Nariman Dzhelial, Asan and Aziz Akhtemov for three months: until October 26, 2022.
As reported, on December 15, a preliminary investigation in the case of blowing up the gas pipeline in the village of Perevalnoye was completed.
The defendants in the case are accused of the RF CC Article 281-2 a), b) (sabotage by an organized group that caused significant property damage); Article 222.1-4 (illegal acquisition, storage and transportation of explosive devices committed by an organized group); Article 226.1-3 (illegal transfer of an explosive device across the customs border of the Customs Union within the framework of the EurAsEC, committed by an organized group).
The defendants plead not guilty to any of the charge.