Ukrainian Political Prisoner Stanislav Ezhov: “During the First Six Months of My Stay in Jail I Have Changed Cells 11 Times”

Stanislav Ezhov, the translator of the Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman, was detained on December 20th, 2017 by employees of the SBU at his workplace. The detention was accompanied by a live-on-air broadcast on TV channels under the control of the authorities and a press conference of the leadership of the SBU. Stanislav Ezhov is accused of high treason (part 1 of Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). He risks 12 to 15 years of imprisonment with the possible confiscation of property. According to the SBU, Ezhov was recruited by the Russian special services during a long business trip abroad. Ezhov has spent nearly 10 months in custody in the Lukyanovka pre-trial detention center of the city of Kiev without an alternative.

As proof of Ezhov's guilt the prosecutor's office showed the documents found at his home with the planned actions of the Prime Minister Groisman. In addition, the prosecution provided proof of Ezhov's visit to St. Petersburg (where his relatives live) and Minsk, and showed screenshots of his correspondence with the user "elenaprekrasnaya@yandex.ru". The court returned the majority of the presented proof back to the prosecutors for further amendments.

The human rights activists of "Uspishna Varta" communicated with Stanislav Ezhov during a court session on his case in the Goloseevsky court of the city of Kiev on October 4th.

The video of the interview is available on the "Uspishna Varta" YouTube channel.

Stanislav, can you speak about your case. In your opinion, what are the charges connected to?

"It is difficult for me to understand the full motives that guided the prosecution. But taking into account the fact that both the prosecutor's office and the SBU are subordinated to president Poroshenko, I think that it is partially some intrigue against Vladimir Groisman. Mark Feygin [the Russian lawyer - ed] already partially voiced the desire to exchange me for Colonel Sushchenko [Roman Sushchenko is a citizen of Ukraine and a journalist, and has been under guard since October 1st, 2016; in the FSB's official statement concerning his arrest he is called the personnel employee of the main intelligence department of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Colonel Sushchenko – ed], who was condemned in Russia for espionage. I didn't receive any offers for an exchange, and it's unlikely that I would agree to do it, taking into account that I haven't been convicted. And I hope that I will be completely acquitted because of the absence in my actions of corpus delicti."

You have been in a pre-trial detention center for nearly a year, how do you feel? What kind of conditions are you kept in?

"Well, I've been here for less than a year, but soon it will be a year. However, since Savchenko's applies to me, soon it will indeed have been already 2 years according to procedural legislation. And taking into account the fact that during the first half of a year of my stay in a pre-trial detention center I changed cells 11 times, and I was transported from the pre-trial detention center of the SBU in Lukyanovka and back 2 times, I of course can only regard this as the investigation and the prosecution's method of exerting pressure. They have no proof of a crime. Everything that was presented doesn't represent corpus delicti. None of this has broken any law of Ukraine and isn't subject to punishment under any article of the Criminal Code. The only thing that the prosecution counts on is cooking me in prison, until I, as well as all other political prisoners of Ukraine, succumb to reaching an agreement and admitting my guilt."

Has the prosecutor's office or representatives of the SBU contacted you with a proposal to resolve the issue the "easy way"?

"The prosecutor on my case, Igor Aleksandrovich Krynin, on January 15th, 2018 in the Lukyanovka pre-trial detention center suggested to me to admit my guilt, to testify, and to receive the punishment coordinated by the parties in the form of 5 years of imprisonment, with a probation period for 3 years. And after that, two months later, the prosecutor violated the promise. Instead of this, 7 years of prison were offered, and then 6. I refused such an agreement."

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