The sentence to Balukh was cancelled because of violations committed by the court, – lawyer
The defender of political prisoner Vladimir Balukh told the CHRG about the reasons for the cancellation of the verdict against the Ukrainian and about possible options for further developments in this resonant case.
The lawyer of Vladimir Balukh Dmitry Dinze said that the verdict to the Ukrainian activist was cancelled during the examination of the appeal against the verdict of the Razdolnensky Court of Crimea.
According to the defence of Balukh “The judge of the Razdolnensky District Court” Maria Bedritskaya, who sentenced Balukh to 3 years and 7 months of imprisonment, did not have the right to review his cases, since she had previously ruled against him. Hence, the judge cannot be objective in the consideration of another case, but Bedritskaya denied the lawyers and the activist in her challenge and continued to participate in the case.
According to Dmitry Dinze, further defence of the Ukrainian will seek the return of the criminal case to the prosecutor’s office to eliminate numerous grave violations.
“Today, during the consideration of the appeal, we talked a lot about him (Vladimir Balukh) to be acquitted or as an alternative we considered that the case could be sent additionally to a new trial, in order that all applications that we stated during the court session were satisfied.
We also filed numerous petitions to the appeal instance regarding the call of witnesses and the conduction of examinations. On this occasion today we spoke for an hour and discussed numerous violations. In addition to our arguments, they considered that the right to a fair trial had also been violated, namely, the challenges of a judge that we claimed during the trial were not satisfied. Therefore, for formal reason why the court cancelled the verdict and sent the case for a new trial was, in our opinion, in connection with the injustice of the trial, unlawfulness of numerous court decisions and violations that were in the course of judicial review.
Now, when the case comes to the Razdolnensky court, it will be considered by the new composition of the court. Whether this examination will be in Razdolnensky court or in some other, we do not know yet. As soon as the case comes to court, we will ask for a preliminary hearing, where we will file an application for the return of the case to the prosecutor; so all the violations that were in the case were eliminated. We would like them to be eliminated not by the court, so that the court did not substitute itself as the body of preliminary investigation, and were fully eliminated in the course of the preliminary investigation, on the grounds that were previously stated.
There is still a lot to be found out there, including interrogation of operational FSS officers. It is necessary to check where the ammunition comes from and, accordingly, it is necessary to establish facts and check the alibi of the defendant, because no traces were found on ammunition and explosives. The version that the explosives could be thrown by the operatives or some other persons who were interested in making Balukh in custody was not worked out.
After reconsideration of the case, the court will be obliged to make a new decision and a new verdict. As practice shows, sentences after cancellation are much softer and accordingly it cannot be worse than what was in the first sentence. The fact is that earlier, if you look at the practice of the Razdolnensky Court, no one was held in custody and was not given a real imprisonment under such articles. “I would say that Balukh is an exception in this case,” – said Dmitry Dinze