On 4 April a regular meeting on the case of Ukrainian activist Vladimir Balukh was held in the Razdolnensky District Court. The case was considered by “judge” Maria Bedritskaya. The court session began with an hour’s delay.
During the meeting, the witness of the charge was questioned – a criminal investigation officer Yevgeny Bobrov, who allegedly “found cartridges” during a search in Balukh’s house. The witness could not explain his role and legal status during the search. Moreover, Bobrov confirmed that he was not on duty that day. He also found it difficult to name the persons who gave him orders, their affiliation with law enforcement agencies and positions. In addition, it turned out that the record of the search for his signature did not include all the actions that he was making. In particular, the protocol does not specify that Bobrov conducted a search not only in the attic, but also in the house of the activist. According to the Crimean human rights group, this “witness” did not appear at previous hearings.
During the meeting it became clear that it was Bobrov who removed the Ukrainian flag from the roof of the house of Baluch. When he was asked by the lawyer what was the threat of the Ukrainian flag, he could not say anything.
This time the prosecution was represented personally by the prosecutor of Razdolnensky district Shmelev Dmitry Nikolayevich.
Razdolnensky “court” announced a break in the consideration of the criminal case against Ukrainian activist Vladimir Balukh till Friday, 7 April.
At the next meeting, interrogations of witnesses which the lawyers of Balukh will be interrogating are planned. Among the first are the FSS officers, who were present during the investigation.
As it was previously reported by the Crimean human rights group, a well-known lawyer for politically motivated cases Dmitry Dindze entered the case.
Recall, that at a court hearing on 16 March two officers of the “Razdolnensky police department” were questioned as a “prosecution witnesses”: “head of the criminal investigation department” and “deputy head of the police department”. Both witnesses indicated that the search in the house of Vladimir Balukh and his mother was initiated by the FSS of the Russian Federation, and the reports were made by the FSS.
The Crimean human rights group stated that the Ukrainian activist was obviously being persecuted politically, since the actions of judicial and law enforcement agencies contain gross violations of not only international but also Russian criminal procedure legislation, which is de facto applied in Crimea. Also, Vladimir Balukh is recognized as a political prisoner by the Human Rights Centre “Memorial“.