Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
On December 11th a regular hearing on the case of the murder of the well-known Ukrainian journalist Oles Buzina took place in the Shevchenkovsky district court of the city of Kiev.
The lawyers of the defendants Andrey Medvedko and Denis Polishchuk asked the court to postpone consideration of the case because of the absence of one of the lawyers Andrey Fedur, but the court refused. The court also did not grant the motion of the defendant’s lawyers for the dismissal of the collegium. The lawyers Medvedko and Polishchuk intend to challenge the prosecutor on this case.
The next court sessions are planned for February 8th and 15th, 2019.
According to the human rights activists from “Uspishna Varta“, the defence intentionally drags out the trial. The coordinators of “Uspishna Varta” also note that court sessions on the case of Oles Buzina’s murder are put under systematic pressure by the far-right “C14“ group, which Andrey Medvedko and Denis Polishchuk are members of. And despite the weight of the crime incriminated to them, the defendants haven’t had a measure of restraint in the form of detention imposed on them, thereby all of them are currently at large.
As a reminder, the publicist Oles Buzina was shot in the yard of his own house in Kiev on April 16th, 2015. The actions of the defendants Andrey Medvedko and Denis Polishchuk are qualified according to Paragraph 12 of Part 2 of Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – “premeditated murder by a group of persons committed via a previously reached agreement” – and according to Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – “illegal possession of weapons by a group of persons via a previously reached agreement”, which, in total, stipulates a maximum term of up to 15 years or life imprisonment.
3 years after the date of the murder, on June 7th, the Shevchenkovsky court began the preparatory hearing of the case of Oles Buzina anew, having cancelled all previous results from consideration of the case. The regular hearing appointed for June 15th on the case of Buzina’s murder was postponed to August 9th for a formal reason – the present jurors hadn’t been given a memo. And only in August did the Shevchenkovsky court of Kiev began the hearing of the case anew.
On August 9th a survey of candidates for the jury took place during a court session, during a long debate. Representatives of nationalist organisations came to the court for the purpose of disrupting the trial. They shouted out slogans in a corridor: “Judge separatists, not soldiers!”, “Judges remember, your power is not eternal!”, and “Dismiss the judges!”. However, at the end of the hearing the composition of the jury was anyway approved.
The next court session appointed for September 26th was cancelled due to the illness of the judge. And on October 23rd during a regular hearing the defence of the defendants Andrey Medvedko and Denis Polishchuk once again insisted on the need to consider the case from the beginning and to dismiss the judge.
The case of the murder of the well-known Ukrainian journalist Oles Buzina is being continuously monitored by the human rights activists of “Uspishna Varta”.
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