Charges brought against five Crimean Tatars in ‘case of February 26’
During the court hearing at the Russian-controlled district court of Simferopol, the prosecutor brought charges against five participants in the rally for the unity of Ukraine which had taken place on February 26, 2014. Defendants Ali Asanov, Mustafa Degermendzhi, Arsen Yunusov, Eskender Emirvaliev, and Eskender Kantemirov are charged by Russian authorities under Part 2, Article 212 “Participation in mass riots.”
As the Human Rights Information Centre correspondent reports from Crimea, prosecutor Ivantsov read the same text five times, changing only the names of the defendants.
After the indictment was read out, Ali Asanov stated he did not understand the essence of the document, pleaded not guilty, and refused to testify in the court.
Mustafa Degermendzhi said he did not understand the qualifications of the crime, in particular, the public order of which country he had violated according to the Russian authorities.
The remaining defendants pleaded guilty in part, denying their organized participation in the riots.
After that, judge Sergey Demenok determined the order of examination of evidence, although the lawyers argued that was unacceptable in the absence of the aggrieved party.
According to a schedule, it is planned to hold eight hearings within the framework of the judicial investigation by the year-end.
As reported, Russian de facto authorities in Crimea accuse a number of Crimean Tatar activists of participation in the riots on February 26, 2014. On this day, thousands of Crimean people gathered for a rally near the Crimean parliament – both supporters and opponents of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Three of the defendants (Ahtem Chiygoz, Mustafa Degermendzhi and Ali Asanov) have been being held in the remand prison for almost a year and a half.