Ukrainian consul finally allowed to visit journalist Sushchenko in Moscow remand prison

Дата: 11 October 2016
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October 10, the Ukrainian consul met with journalist Roman Sushchenko in Lefortovo remand prison in Moscow.

Mykhailo Chaplyha, the representative of Ukrainian Ombudsperson Valeria Lutkovska, posted this on his Facebook page.

Our consul has just got access to Roman Sushchenko. [That became possible] thanks to Tatiana Moskalkova [Ombudsperson of the Russian Federation], who was very persistent in this issue in the Russian Foreign Ministry at our request. At 2 p.m., the permission was obtained. The meeting (possibly with taking into account the formalities and gaps) lasted for three hours,” Chaplyha wrote on Monday.

The information that the Ukrainian consul visited journalist Roman Sushchenko in Lefortovo remand prison was also confirmed by Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariana Betsa, Ukrinform news agency reports.

Ukrainian consul managed to get a meeting with Roman Sushchenko, which was previously scheduled for October 14. He has just left the remand prison. Sushchenko stays in more or less satisfactory conditions. There is no doubt he has been put under psychological pressure, but Roman has pleaded not guilty,” Betsa said.

Earlier, journalist’s lawyer Mark Feygin informed that he had managed to meet with his client on October 10. Roman Sushchenko thanked his colleagues for their support. The lawyer stayed with the client for four hours.

As reported, Ukrinform Ukrainian national news agency correspondent in France Roman Sushchenko was arrested in Moscow on September 30, where he was on a private visit. He was accused of espionage, allegedly being a member of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate denied allegations of Russian Federal Security Service.

The court ruled at its closed hearing on October 1 to arrest the journalist for two months – until November 30. Sushchenko was denied a basic right – to see a lawyer and Ukrainian consul, which is contrary to international standards and bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia.

October 7, the Russian Federation officially charged the Ukrainian journalist with spying. Sushchenko denies any guilt.

Lawyer Feygin was allowed to see the defendant for only 15 minutes on October 4.

Ukrainian non-governmental organizations believe that the arrest of Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko in Moscow should be regarded as an attack on freedom of expression and call on the Ukrainian government and the international community to protect the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and the occupied Crimea.

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