The lawyer Rybin handcuffed himself in protest against the arbitrariness of judges

The lawyer Rybin handcuffed himself in protest against the arbitrariness of judges

On March 19th the lawyer Valentin Rybin handcuffed himself to a radiator in the reception room of the judge Marchenko M.V. The lawyer motivated his actions by the fact that he will remain in such conditions, as close as possible to the realities of being in a pre-trial detention center, until the next hearing on the case of his client, Dr. Mikhalchevsky.

Rybin’s client, Petro Mikhalchevsky, who served as the head doctor in a hospital in Crimea, is accused of treason. He has been in a pre-trial detention center for more than a year. The next hearing on the case of Mikhalchevsky was supposed to take place on March 19th.

Despite the fact that the case is being considered by a trio of judges (Marchenko, Melnichenko, Levko), the decision to postpone the trial for a month until April 11 was made in violation of the Criminal Procedure Code, outside the court hearing, and without official notification.

“I am sure that judges are afraid to handle criminal cases that are politically motivated. Therefore, people in prison are simply festering, cases are not considered on merit, there are postponements, various excuses are invented, everything is done to not consider criminal proceedings in such politically motivated cases,” said the lawyer Rybin in comment to the human rights defenders of “Uspіshna Varta”.

The lawyer also stressed that criminal liability for judges for such offenses is not stipulated, and it is almost impossible to punish them.

The National Bar Association of Ukraine showed solidarity with their colleague in the fight against such offenses as the one committed by the judges. Representatives of the legal community came to the court to support the lawyer Rybin.

Police officers also came to the court. They demanded that the lawyer leave the court building. After he refused, law enforcement officers started to threaten the lawyer with the use of force, criminal prosecution, as well as a call for “reinforcements” from representatives of the right-wing group “C14”. In addition, 2 buses with armed people inside in full military uniform arrived at the court building.

According to journalists, in the evening several patrol police cars and at least 20 people from the “C14” group were on duty at the courthouse.

On the morning of March 20th information was received about the mining of the court, after which the lawyer Rybin, along with the rest of the court staff, was forced to leave the premises so that operational activities could take place. Subsequently, the information about mining was not confirmed. The lawyer returned to the court in order to wait for the appointment of the next date for a hearing on the case of Dr. Mikhalchevsky.

After several hours of waiting, Judge Marchenko’s secretary handed the lawyer Rybin official notification of the adjournment of the trial of Dr. Mikhalchevsky to April 11th. Later, the lawyer still managed to talk directly with the judge and ask her to schedule a hearing for tomorrow. But as it turned out later, Judge Marchenko goes on vacation on March 21st, because of which she did not promise anything concrete, and only said that she would think about it and report her decision later.

The human rights activists of “Uspishna Varta” will continue to monitor the situation.

Valentin Rybin is a well-known Ukrainian lawyer specializing in defending the rights of citizens accused under political articles, because of which representatives of right-wing radical groups systematically subject him to harassment. On December 24th unknown persons burned his car, which was in a closed parking lot. Valentin Rybin defends the interests of Stanislav Ezhov, Vladimir Ruban, Darya Mastikasheva, and Aleksandr Shchegolev.

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