Dmytro Vasylets (31 years old) - opposition journalist, presenter, public figure
Evhen Tymonin (33 years old) - IT specialist
On November 24, 2015 they were detained on charge of information aiding and abetting terrorism (assistance in creating a YouTube channel “Novorossiya-TV”) during a three-day trip to Donetsk in July 2014. The Prosecutor’s Office did not provide convincing evidence of the journalists’ guilt.
Nevertheless, the court convicted the journalists and sentenced to 9 years in prison. The decision was appealed. However, in February 2018, the Kyiv Court of Appeal remitted the case back to the court of first instance for a fresh trial and released Vasilets and Timonin under house arrest.
Dmytro Vasylets was the author and presenter of the programs on the 17th channel: “Museum of Information War”, “What information the media keep on the down low.” He supervised the project “MediaLustration”, where he urged journalists to adhere to standards and not to spark a war, not to call for violence and discord of the Ukrainian people.
Plethora Ukrainian and international human rights organizations, including the UN and the OSCE, advocated for journalists Vasilets and Timonin. In December 2017, 25 MEPs prepared a letter to Ukrainian government calling on immediate and unconditional release of Dmitry Vasilets and Evgeny Timonin.
• There is no such wording as “information” aiding and abetting terrorism in Ukrainian and international legislation.
• According to the official explanation of the prosecutor’s office – “Luhansk People’s Republic” and “Donetsk People’s Republic” are not terrorist organizations.
• “Novorossiya-TV” began its broadcasting three months after the accused person’s trip to Donetsk. Prior to this, no channel (content) existed and according to the universal declaration of human rights, no one is responsible for the actions of other people.
• “Novorossiya-TV” broadcasting is under way at the moment, expanding its range from the Internet to a satellite channel. The Security Service of Ukraine did not make any attempts to close it down.
On October 16, the Borodyansky District Court of the Kiev Region held a preparatory hearing on the case of the journalist Dmitry Vasilets and his colleagueEvgeny Timonin, who were previously sentenced to 9 years on charges of informational complicity with terrorism. The verdict was challenged in the Court of Appeal. At a hearing on October 16, the court granted the claim of the defence and returned the indictment to the prosecutor's office for revision, citing numerous violations during the pre-trial investigation and the inconsistency of the indictment with the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Code. In comment to the coordinator of “Uspishna Varta”, Dmitry Vasilets stressed that his 9-year sentence was illegal and influenced by purely political motives.
On December 13th the Kiev Court of Appeal held a hearing concerning the case of the journalist Dmitry Vasilets and Evgeny Timonin. Despite the arguments of the lawyers of the journalists regarding the illegality of the indictment against Vasilets and Timonin, the court reversed the determination of the Borodyansky court of the Kiev region and satisfied the motion of the Prosecutor's office of Zhytomyr.
On March 14th, 2019 the collegium of judges of the Vasilkovsky district court of the Kiev region, during a hearing concerning the case of the journalists Dmitry Vasilets and Evgeny Timonin, once again returned the indictment to the prosecutor because of its inconsistency with the norms of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine. The court has not been able to proceed with the consideration of the case for more than a year.
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