Alexander Yefremov

Mr. Yefremov is a Ukrainian politician accused by the prosecution of violations of several articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, including the infringement of Ukraine's territorial integrity, organizational and other accessory to the establishment and activity of Lugansk People's Republic terrorist organization, and the organization of seizure of the building of the Lugansk Oblast State Administration.

The politician was arrested on 30 July 2016 and has been kept in Starobelsk jail ever since.

Hearings of the case of politician Alexander Yefremov continued at Starobelsk Court of Lugansk Oblast.

On 18 September 2018, Starobelsk Court of Lugansk Oblast had to hearing of Alexander Yefremov case. Initially, the prosecution submitted 28 volumes of evidence to the court, but renounced more than a half of its charges during the hearings. At the fifth hearing this week, two witnesses were interrogated, and video recordings were examined. A huge number of videos was excluded by the court as these videos had absolutely no relation to the charges brought against Alexander Yefremov.

In his interview to Uspishna Varta human rights campaigners, Mr. Yefremov said that the case against him was formed overnight. The case includes materials from absolutely different cases unrelated to charges against Mr. Yefremov.

Later, the author of this interview and the representative of the "Legal Control of Ukraine" organisation Artur Zhurbenko reported that on the night of September 29 unknown persons burned his house in the Zhytomyr region. The police qualified this case as arson. The journalist links this incident to his recent investigation into the property of the judge Aleksandr Pelikh involved in the case of Aleksandr Efremov.

On October 5, 2018 after a week of daily sessions on the case of the politician Aleksandr Efremov, the Starobilsk court extended the measure of restraint in the form of detention for another 2 months, until December 3. The official wording of the court decision states that despite the presumption of innocence, there is a state interest in the case of Aleksandr Efremov, as well as a military conflict in Eastern Ukraine, which outweighs the right of personal freedom.

On October 16, four witnesses again did not appear for the hearing.

On October 23-26, the Starobelsky District Court of the Lugansk Region continued to hear the case of the Ukrainian politician Aleksandr Efremov. The deputy Sergey Pashinsky and the head of the NSDC Aleksandr Turchynov did not appear at the hearings as witnesses. Due to the leave of the judge, the consideration of the case was postponed to November 20.

On December 4 the Starobilsk district court of the Lugansk region decided to extend the measure of restraint in the form of detention imposed on Aleksandr Efremov until January 31, 2019. During the court hearing the politician fell ill. Doctors diagnosed signs of hypertensive crisis and coronary heart disease. Despite the fact that the doctors insisted on his urgent hospitalization, the judge forbade it. Also, the lawyers of Aleksandr Efremov publishedphotos of the marks left by the handcuffs on the accused. The photos show how he was thus "delivered" from the ambulance to the courtroom. The case of Aleksandr Efremov and the information about the refusal to hospitalise him was sent to the European Court of Human Rights.

On January 21st the Starobilsk district court of the Lugansk region for the 15th time extended the measure of restraint in the form of detention imposed on Efremov for another 2 months.

On March 15th the court extended the measure of restraint in the form of detention imposed on the politician Aleksandr Efremov for another 2 months - until May 13th.

On April 23rd and 24th, 2019 hearings connected to the case of Aleksandr Efremov were held in the Starobelsky district court of the Lugansk region. The judicial collegium made the decision to keep Efremov in custody for two months.

On June 19th, 2019 the court did not allow deputies to post bail for the politician Aleksandr Efremov. His arrest was extended to August 17th inclusive. The court argued its position and decision by stating that under the articles of the Criminal Code that Aleksandr Efremov is accused under, the only possible measure of restraint is “detention”. Earlier, on June 18th, the Central Election Commission refused to register Aleksandr Efremov as a candidate for the parliamentary election.

On July 8th, 2019 the Supreme Court decided to change the jurisdiction of the case on changing the measure of restraint imposed on Aleksandr Efremov. Now the Kiev Court of Appeal will consider the appeal against the terms of the detention of Aleksandr Efremov.

On July 22nd, the Kiev Court of Appeal released from detention the Ukrainian politician Aleksandr Efremov. He spent 3 years in a pre-trial detention center without a court sentence on charges of state treason and encroaching on territorial integrity. The court changed the measure of restraint imposed on the politician to around-the-clock house arrest with the wearing of an electronic bracelet.