Forget Judicial Process

On Tuesday, 28 May, a Dnipropetrovsk court rejected the eighth application to release Dmitry Reva from custody, despite his having been held in SIZO for one year on falsified evidence and on charges which quite simply lack any element of a crime.

Mr Reva’s lawyer had asked for his client to be released on the personal guarantee of two people, in full compliance with the Criminal Procedure Code  The Head of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group and of the Board of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Yevhen Zakharov and Father Orest, Head of the All Saints OrthodoxChurch in Dnipropetrovsk had expressed their willingness to act as guarantors.

The court refused to allow Mr Zakharov to speak and simply rejected the application, claiming that the crime was too serious.

What crime?

Two other men stand accused of preparing and planting four bombs on 27 April 2012.   They either partially or fully admit guilt.  They are both adamant that neither supposed “accomplice” had anything to do with the crime.

Dnitry Reva is accused of having gone to the centre to observe the actions of the police and public and “if the need arose”, pass on information to the alleged bombers so that the latter could coordinate their further actions.  He happened to be in the vicinity of two of the four bomb blasts although specialists acknowledge that it could not have been known when any particular bomb would go off, and he might have missed them all.  

The charge is bafflingly absurd, and the lack of an actual crime has been confirmed by a top legal specialist in Ukraine.  

The original grounds for remanding Dmitry Reva in custody were proven to have been falsified, with the supposed phone call to one of the main two defendants having been made by a Security Service officer.

The ramifications of such cases for Ukraine’s judicial system are grave.  Dmitry Reva may have been charged because he fitted the political identikit match (consultant to an opposition MP), or simply because the enforcement bodies had stated that they were looking for 4 people. The custody order should never have been issued, but was, and has now been stubbornly upheld eight times.  This is despite a top legal expert, human rights groups and others all expressing concern over what bears none of the hallmarks of a crime and all of cynical disregard for fundamental principles of judicial process. 

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