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The second “judicial” meeting on the case of Ukrainian activist Balukh took place in Crimea

Володимир Балух, світлина з сайту

In Crimea, the Razdolnensky District Court continues to examine the case of Ukrainian resident Vladimir Balukh. He is accused of “illegal possession of weapons, their main parts, ammunition” (Article 222 Part 1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

During the regular hearing that took place today, on 20 March, witnesses who on 8 December 2016 arrived together with the police to search the house of Balukh’s mother were questioned. During the meeting, an officer of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was questioned, who was also present during the search. During this search the police allegedly “found” ammunition in the house of Baluch’s mother, in which the activist is now being accused.

According to the Crimean human rights group, the testimony of these witnesses confirm Balukh’s and his defence statements about numerous procedural violations during the searches on 8 December.

The officer of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Bobrov, who allegedly “found” cartridges and is a witness on the part of the prosecution, has not been to the court session for the second time.

Recall that on 8 December, FSS officers conducted searches in the homes of Vladimir Balukh and his mother. Employees of the FSS said that in the attic of the house where Vladimir Balukh lived, 90 cartridges and several TNT checkers were found.

The activist was detained after the searches. On 12 December, the Razdolnensky district court of Crimea chose a preventive measure for the Crimean resident in the form of detention for a period of 30 days. In the prison of Simferopol, Balukh’s health deteriorated, back pain intensified, and chronic bronchitis worsened.

The first court hearing, where the Baluch’s case was considered in fact, took place in the Razdolnensky District Court on 16 March. During the meeting, the testimony of four “witnesses” were heard, which were presented by the prosecution. These were fellow villager of Balukh, his wife and two employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Earlier, CHRG stated about the obvious political persecution of the Ukrainian activist. According to the CHRG experts, the actions of judicial and security forces contain gross violations not only of international but also Russian criminal procedure legislation (which is de facto applied in Crimea).

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