“C14" activists at a hearing on the case of Volkov

“What, you can’t do an execution without a trial? Too bad": “C14" activists at a hearing on the case of Volkov

On January 21st the Shevchenkovsky court of Zaporozhye held a court hearing concerning the case of the journalist Pavel Volkov, who spent more than a year in jail on charges of encroaching on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The hearing was held in the presence of people in camouflage, who at first totalled 5 persons. They introduced themselves as servicemen of the ATO, and one of them said that they were the deputy head of the organization "C14". Those who came to the hearing behaved aggressively and called all those who were present, including lawyers, "separs", "vata", " kolorads”, and "traitors".

The "activists" threatened to revoke the advocacy certificate of one of the defence lawyers for defending "separatists" and chanted at her "Suitcase, train station, Russia!". They told the relatives of the accused that they will collect a dossier on them and threatened to transfer their personal data to third parties and also to denounce them to the SBU.


Furthermore, the activists started to call and ask representatives of "Azov", "Right Sector", and other organizations to come. But after a while only 2 people arrived. After stating to the Prosecutor that he should hand over the case, the prosecution asked the defence lawyer to call the police. The law enforcement officers who arrived took statements about the obstruction of advocacy, as well as about the threats made to the lawyer and the other participants.

The lawyers of Volkov informed the representatives of the OSCE, the UN and the central office of ISHR about the ensuing disorder in the course of the hearing and stated they will also send written complaints in connection with the pressure being put on participants of the criminal process.

"The appearance of radicals at the hearing (and this happened for the first time in a year and a half) can only be attributed to the fact that the prosecution (in a broad sense) has doubts about the possibility of pulling off a very clumsily fabricated case. Accordingly, they use the only method available to them - terror. Intimidating the court, intimidating relatives, representatives of public organizations, and journalists. It is no secret that ‘C14’, which was included in global lists of terrorist organizations, is on state support through various social-sports grants, and it means it is clear who ordered the music. Yes, they came for the sole purpose of pressuring the court. "Separatists must sit in jail" they say, despite the formal presumption of innocence, etc. But of course they didn't expect either the police, our phone calls to the OSCE and the UN, or the broad highlighting of their acts of intimidation - i.e. terrorist acts - by the media and human rights defenders. We are not afraid; we have the means to respond. I hope that the court won’t be afraid either," said Pavel Volkov to the human rights activists of "Uspishna Varta" during the hearing.


Despite the presence of radical persons, the hearing took place nevertheless. During the hearing activists commented on what was happening, for example: “What, you can’t do an execution without a trial? Too bad.”

During the hearing the prosecution’s evidence was examined in the manner proposed by the Prosecutor. In response to the argument of the defense that some of the documents being studied belong to that category of information that contains a secret protected by law, the head of the Collegium noted that the parties will argue about this during the debate, but the court cannot make any procedural decisions now.

In addition, the lawyer of Volkov filed a motion for the recognition of search protocols and derived evidence as obviously inadmissible evidence, since the search took place in violation of a number of procedural rules, in particular the right to a defense. But the court rejected it.

At the end of the hearing the "activists" left the courthouse and waited at the entrance for the accused, his relatives, and lawyers. But the police prevented the provocation and ensured the safety of the participants in the process.

All hearings previously scheduled for January and February were cancelled. The next hearing will be held on February 26th 2019.

Recall that the journalist Pavel Volkov was arrested on September 27th 2017 and spent more than a year in jail. For his professional activity, heis charged under part 2 of article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – infringing on the territorial integrity of Ukraine (by a group of persons) and article 258-3 – rendering other assistance to terrorists. On October 25th the court released the journalist from custody due to the lack of grounds for extending the measure of restraint imposed on Pavel Volkov. In connection with the replacement of the judge, the consideration of evidence in the case began from the beginning.

The case of Pavel Volkov is being constantly monitored by the "Uspishna Varta" human rights platform.

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