At the trial of Semena the prosecution read out his personal correspondence

Дата: 22 May 2017
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During the court hearing on the case of Crimean journalist Mykola Semena in the Zheleznodorozhnyi District Court of Simferopol, the prosecution read out his personal correspondence and prints of publications that are neither related to Semena’s journalistic activity, nor to the criminal case that is under consideration.

Mykola Semena

As reported by reporter of the Human Rights Information Centre in Crimea.

According to him, the prosecutor read out few letters of Mykola Semena supposedly addressed to Volodymyr Prytula, in which the journalist described the informal “conversations” in the FSB, necessary methods of conspiracy and other aspects of activity in the occupied Crimea.

In addition, Semena’s articles for the Den (Day) newspaper as of May 16 and 17, 2014, which were published one or two days before the annexation of Crimea, were among the materials given by the investigative work.

Since the letters were written in Ukrainian, lawyer Oleksandr Popkov drew the court’s attention to the fact that he understood nothing from their presentation and could not comment. Judge Nadia Shkolna postponed the court hearing until June 5 on this basis. She motivated her decision with the fact that lawyer Emil Kurbedinov, who according to her is also a citizen of Ukraine, “and therefore must know the native language of his country”, is absent at the present time.

The court ignored Semena’s arguments that he would like to continue the consideration of the case.

As a reminder, on February 15, twenty seven human rights organizations, united in the Civic Solidarity Platform, expressed their support for the Crimean journalist Mykola Semena, who faces imprisonment for five years for daring to express his opinion.

In spring of 2016, massive searches took place in Crimea, including in the independent journalists who are suspected of collaboration with Krym.Realii. A criminal case was opened with respect to the Radio Liberty’s author Mykola Semena on suspicion of threatening the territorial integrity of Russia. Russian investigation forbade him to leave the peninsula.

On August 23, his defense submitted a request to FSB to allow Semena to leave Crimea for medical treatment.

Crimean department of FSB refused to satisfy the request of the defense.

On November 28, Semena could not visit Brussels to receive the European Prize for the freedom of speech named after Pavlo Sheremet because of the ban on travel outside Crimea.

On January 20, Semena was presented an indictment in the case of separatism under the Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of Russia (Public appeals for the performance of extremist activity). Lawyer Kurbedinov stated that the indictment was presented in violation of the Criminal-Procedural Code.

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