Manipulation of the Appointment of Judges Began in the Trial of the Ukrainian Journalists Vasilets and Timonin

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


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In the Court of Appeal manipulation of the appointment of judges in the case of the journalists Dmitry Vasilets and Evgeny Timonin – who the court sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment for assisting the activity of the self-proclaimed “DPR” and kindling ethnic strife – began. This was written by the lawyer Natalya Voznyuk on her page on Facebook.

“Recently, Dmitry Vasilets’ relatives contacted me – this same journalist whom, together with Evgeny Timonin, was condemned to 9 years of imprisonment for ‘information assistance’ to the terrorist organization by the Andrushevsky district court of Zhytomyr region on 28.09.2017. It is precisely in this way that the judges of Andrushevsky court, who are ‘fair’ and ‘absolutely aren’t in cahoots with the authorities’, called the help given to Donetsk colleagues (probably, they are indeed this terrorist organization?) in setting up a channel for YouTube,” wrote the lawyer.

Voznyuk noted that she noticed “blatant interference” after becoming acquainted with the case.

“I started being acquainted with the case by studying the reports on the automated distribution of cases in courts and was surprised! I haven’t seen such frank and blatant interference before! Thus, it is very well seen that someone very much wants it so that a certain Berezhnaya S.V. is obligatorily involved when adopting the most significant decisions on journalists (for example, the determination of jurisdiction or the appeal complaint of the defence lawyer), it is done quite clumsily: a number of judges are simply excluded from the system of distribution under a far-fetched pretext (for example, ‘this one isn’t in this collegium’), while the needed judges remain in the system,” reported Voznyuk.

Also she pointed out to other “strangenesses” where Berezhnaya S.V. appears.

“But here it is strange: on the same day, during the distribution of complaints or petitions on other criminal proceedings, the excluded judges as if by magic are already ‘in this collegium’! For example, when determining the trio for consideration of the question of jurisdiction behind Andrushevsky regional court in the described way, practically all judges were illegally excluded from the system, and the case was transferred to the specific structure of the court: Berezhnaya S.V., Zhiznevsky Yu.V., Evstafyeva T.A. This same Berezhnaya S.V. twice participated in the consideration of appeal complaints of the defenders on the extension of the guys’ [Vasilets and Timonin – ed] measure of restraint (the complaints, of course, were left without consideration),” noted the lawyer.

Besides this, on 01.11.2017 the Court of Appeal of the Zhytomyr region wasn’t able to create the trio of judges for consideration of the appeal complaint of Voznyuk, because all judges but two were excluded from the system with the notice “excluded”.

Thus almost all “excluded” weren’t taken for distribution, because either they had no specialization or they already participated in this case. But the judges elected by the system Slisarchuk Ya.A. and Kiyanova S.V. for some reason were put on this list for distribution, although earlier they already took part in this case.

“Anyway, I understood that it is impossible to form a ‘trio’ in this court, and I expected this case to be directed to the High Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases for determination of jurisdiction. But Zhytomyr, probably, is not in Ukraine, and their own laws act there,” wrote Voznyuk.

On 02.11.2017, despite the fact that the law orders to expel from the system of distribution judges who already took part in these criminal proceedings (as was done on 01.11.2017) the “independent” system, except the two judges elected on 01.11.2017, chose Berezhnaya S.V., having defined her as presiding.

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It is precisely Berezhnaya S.V., Slisarchuk Ya.A., and Kiyanova S.V. who took part in the consideration of the complaint of the defender concerning the detention of Dmitry and Evgeny, and who refused consideration.

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