Aleksandr Shchegolev – General-Major of the SBU
He was detained on August 20, 2015 and has been in jail ever since. He is charged with illegally obstructing the holding of peaceful assemblies, rallies, and demonstrations and exceeding his official powers during the events of February, 2014. He allegedly committed actions aimed at dispersing protesters from Maidan Square in Kiev and liberating the buildings that they were hiding in. According to the prosecution, A. Shchegolev supervised the actions of the special forces of the SBU, police, and internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and exceeded his official powers with the aim of illegally preventing the holding of rallies and committing intentional murders.
A. Shchegolev has been accused in this case for three and a half years and has been imprisoned for more than three years only on the basis of suspicion and without a court ruling. The main narratives for the charges are: 1) he gave the order for an anti-terrorist operation on Maidan; 2) he was involved in a fire at the House of Trade Unions where people died.
The lawyers of A. Shchegolev argue that Shchegolev did not sign an order for an anti-terrorist operation and, in fact, isn’t involved in the case concerning the fire either - the protesters themselves, according to the materials of the case, set fire to the House of Trade Unions, since they threw Molotov cocktails on the fifth floor to prevent the police from coming inside.
A. Shchegolev's lawyers claim that in the indictment the investigator and the prosecutor indicated a deliberately distorted and falsified legal qualification and used articles that are not relevant in this case. The court twice returned the indictment to the prosecutor, and only on the third time was the case taken to court.
In the case of A. Shchegolev there are 136 victims. In three years, only 26 people have been heard in court. There are still 110 victims, 500 witnesses, and 70 experts who have not yet been interrogated, and there are also written case papers.
Since August 20, 2018 Aleksandr Shchegolev has been in jail for more than three years without an alternative, and the Shevchenkovsky court of Kiev refuses to satisfy the demand of the defence to elect a more loyal measure of restraint - neither house arrest, nor the bail of a people's Deputy, nor bail. At the last court session on 06.09.2018, the Collegium of judges once again extended Aleksandr Shchegolev’s measure of restraint in the form of detention without any hope of the criminal case being considered in an adequate time period, thus torturing him via prison.
Hearing of the case of SBU Major General Alexander Schegolev continued on 25 September 2018 at Shevchenkovsky district court in Kiev. He is charged with illegal obstruction of peaceful assemblies, meetings and rallies, and with abuse of power during the eventsof February 2014. Two victims were interrogated during the session, but their testimonials contradicted the essence of charges, as they didn't know anything about the defendant. The Schegolev case lists 136 victims; in the three years of hearings, only 21 of them have been interrogated by the court.
On October 11 and 18, in Kiev's Shevchenkovsky court, the questioning of the victims in the case of General Aleksandr Shchegolev continued. Like in previous hearings, none of the persons interrogated knew the General personally and did not report anything that corresponded to the essence of the charges. At the same time, the judge once again refused to protect the defendant by changing the measure of detention to house arrest or bail. General Aleksandr Shchegolev has been in jail for more than three years. In total, the case of the General involves 136 victims, and less than 30 of these victims have been questioned in three years.
On November 15, 2018 the Shevchenkovsky Court of Kiev, during a hearing on the case of General Aleksandr Shchegolev, heard the next 3 witnesses. Like before, these witnesses are not personally acquainted with the accused, and are not even familiar with the indictment. On the whole, 43 out of the 143 witnesses of the Prosecutor's Office have been heard to date.
On November 22, 2018 in the Shevchenkovsky district court of Kiev a regular hearing was held on the case of the Major General of the SBU Aleksandr Shchegolev, who has spent 1190 days in jail without an alternative. During the session 3 victims (out of the 136 mentioned in the case) were heard. In the case of Shchegolev there are 619 witnesses and 72 experts, in addition to the victims.
On December 13th during a hearing concerning the case of General Aleksandr Shchegolev the court was supposed to hear three witnesses connected to the case. None of them showed up. It was decided to postpone the hearing until 20th December. The decision of the judicial collegium to extend the measure of restraint imposed on the accused in the form of detention for another 2 months was expected.
On January 25th another hearing concerning the case ofShchegolev took place in the Shevchenkovsky court of Kiev. The court examined 45 pages of written evidence in the first volume, which describes the plan of action on February 18th 2014. However, there was no mention of the Major General. In total, the proceedings contain 108 volumes of case materials. At the next hearing, which is scheduled for February 1st, the court plans to continue studying the materials.
On March 21st, 2019 the trial concerning the case of General Shchegolev continued in the Shevchenkovsky Court of Kiev. During the hearing, the court continued to examine the prosecution documents on the involvement of the “Alpha” unit in the House of Trade Unions on the night of February 18th-19th 2014 in Kiev.
On April 25th the Shevchenkovsky court of Kiev continued to hear the case of the General Aleksandr Shchegolev, who has been in custody since August 2015 (more than 3.5 years) in the case of dispersing protests on Maidan in February 2014. The court is at the stage of examining the evidence of the prosecution. The side of the defence has repeatedly questioned the admissibility of the evidence produced by the prosecution. The next court hearing concerning the case of Shchegolev is appointed for May 8th.
On May 8th, 2019 a hearing on the case of General Aleksandr Shchegolev was held in the Shevchenkovsky Court of Kiev. The court continued to familiarise itself with the documents – the access of lawyers to a part of them was limited by the prosecutor's office before the beginning of the hearing. The court also privately studied “secret information” protected by the state (state secret). The motion filed by the lawyers of Aleksandr Shchegolev to change themeasure of restraint to house arrest was once again rejected by the court. The next hearing on the case of Shchegolev is scheduled for May 22nd.
On May 22nd, 2019 a hearing on the case of General Aleksandr Shchegolev was held in the Shevchenkovsky Court of Kiev. During the hearing the prosecutors, on behalf of the representative of the victims during the clashes on Independence Square in 2013-2014 Evgeniya Zakrevskaya, requested to change the order of the hearing - they asked the court to continue to hear the testimonies of the witnesses. The court rejected the motion and continued the investigation of the evidence. Following the hearing, the court extended the measure of restraint in the form of the detention imposed on Aleksandr Shchegolev for another 60 days. On May 30th the court collegium continued to examine the evidence of the prosecution. Prosecutors once again showed a video that was filmed on Independence Square in Kiev in February 2014. The next hearing is scheduled for June 26th.
On June 26th the court softened the measure of restraint imposed on General Aleksandr Shchegolev, changing it to house arrest. He spent almost 4 years in jail on charges of illegally obstructing peaceful assemblies and abusing power during the events of February 2014. During all of this time the hearing of his case continued, and in 4 years less than half of the 136 victims were interrogated. The details of the case of General Shchegolev can be found here.
On July 18th, 2019 the Shevchenkovsky Court of Kiev decided to support the motion of the prosecutors to extend the measure of restraint in the form of around-the-clock house arrest imposed on General Aleksandr Shchegolev for another 60 days. During the hearing, the lawyers of the accused asked for his Ukrainian passport to be returned so that he could vote in the parliamentary election, but the court did not return the document to Shchegolev. It is reported that several “activists” attended the court session and distinguished themselves by a number of provocations during the trial.
The court sessions continue, and we continue to monitor the situation.
We will send a letter once per week in which we will report about the most important events in the field of legal protection and violations of the civil and political rights of Ukrainians