Complaint against arrest of Sushchenko to be considered at closed hearing
The Moscow City Court will consider the complaint against the arrest of Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, who is being illegally held in the Lefortovo remand prison in Moscow, behind the closed doors on October 27.
Sushchenko’s lawyer Mark Feygin said this in a commentary to 112 Ukraine TV channel, Ukrinform news agency reports.
“I believe these chances are next to zero as nobody will cancel this pre-trial restriction. Moreover, the court hearing will be held behind the closed door, so it will be difficult to appeal to the media, which could assess the evidence submitted by both parties,” he said, when asked whether pre-trial restriction for Sushchenko could be changed.
Feygin noted that he had studied the protocols and found out rather substantial violations in process of detention of Sushchenko.
“A pre-trial restriction, in my opinion, was procedurally selected without taking into account violations of his human rights, not to mention that the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for a number of grounds for selection the strictest pre-trial restriction in the form of detention. The court must have had any alternative, but it did not use it for obvious reasons – they considered the accusation of spying far more significant than the rights of the accused,” the lawyer said.
Feygin stated he would present all those arguments at the court hearing on October 27.
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.
The lawyers of Sushchenko call on Russian and international human rights organizations to recognize the journalist as a political prisoner.