Kiev Keeps the Ukrainian Activist Oleg Litvinenko Behind Bars Because He Called for Peace with Poland

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


On November 13th a hearing on the case of the public activist Oleg Litvinenko took place in the Kamianka-Buzka district court.

The court denied the motion of the Oleg Litvinenko’s defence to change his measure of restraint from detention to another one that doesn’t stipulate imprisonment – under a personal obligation, because the defendant is ill (Hepatitis C). The defence sent a request to a medical institution to confirm the diagnosis of the defendant. In 20 months of staying under guard Oleg Litvinenko hasn’t been provided with the appropriate medical care to treat his chronic disease. The necessary examination and diagnosis was not carried out either.

The next court session is planned for November 28th, 2018.

As a result of a personal conversation between Oleg Litvinenko and the coordinator of “Uspishna Varta” Galina Chaika it became clear that legal proceedings on the case were not conducted in 20 months of staying under guard. Acquaintance with the materials of criminal proceedings hasn’t been carried out in full, and additional materials (recordings from surveillance cameras, video recordings of journalists from the scene) haven’t been filed.

According to the lawyer, the defence has started actions aimed at releasing the defendant from custody because of his chronic disease. The lawyer sent a request to a medical institution to find a doctor who will confirm or disprove the diagnosis of the defendant. A response to the request of the lawyer should arrive in the near future. If the diagnosis is confirmed by doctors and the necessary documents confirming the disease of the defendant is available, then Oleg Litvinenko’s defence will file a motion at the next hearing for the release of the defendant from custody for the purpose of carrying out a medical examination and starting qualified treatment.

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The contract of the lawyer Maria Yunko with the Center for Secondary Legal Aid has ended, and therefore the defendant at the moment is without a lawyer. The court made a ruling for the provision to Oleg Litvinenko of a new lawyer from the Center for Secondary Legal Aid. As a reminder, according to the SBU, Oleg Litvinenko, a native of the city of Khmelnytsky, organised on March 29th, 2017 an unauthorised protest action during which about 200 people holding posters saying “Poles are our brothers” in the Polish and Ukrainian languages blocked a road in the village of Gryada in the Zhovkovsky district of the Lvov region.

Oleg Litvinenko is accused under Part 2 of Article 110 (infringing on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine), Article 293 (group disorderly conduct), and Part 2 of Article 345 (threat or violence towards an employee of law enforcement bodies) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The defendant insists that the road was blocked by employees of law enforcement bodies and that the case against him is a provocation of the SBU.

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