The case of Mekhti Logunov: “Given a 12-year sentence because of a USB stick”

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


On December 18th the case of the 84-year-old Kharkov citizen Mekhti Logunov, who was charged with state treason (Article 111) for allegedly collecting classified information about the defense orders of Ukraine for Russia, will be heard in the Court of Appeal of the city of Kharkov.

Mekhti Logunov was detained on August 17th 2017 and before adjudgment in court he was in a pre-trial detention center. On July 30th, 2018 the Ordzhonikidzevsky district court of Kharkov sentenced the 84-year-old Kharkov citizen to 12 years of imprisonment.

The coordinator of the Uspishna Varta human rights platform communicated with the lawyer of the accused Dmitry Tikhonenkov about the details, the reliability of the evidential base, the validity of the charges, and also about the state of health of the defendant and the prospects of his treatment. We publish the full text of the comment.

The video comment of the lawyer is available on the YouTube channel of “Uspishna Varta”:

Concerning the charges. Mekhti Feofanovich Logunov is accused of state treason under Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. He is now 84-years-old. He is in the Kharkov pre-trial detention center. In the summer his sentence was pronounced. We filed an appeal, which will be considered in the Kharkov Court of Appeal on December 18th at 10:30-11:00. What one should pay attention to here is that concerning this case many witnesses were interrogated. Various episodes were imputed to him. But all of this collapsed. None of the prosecution’s witnesses showed anything. On the contrary, they only indicated the opposite – that he did nothing bad and didn’t break the law. And actually all these episodes already became obsolete in the court of first instance.

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Concerning the evidential base. There is only one episode left – that allegedly he was given a USB stick that contained classified information. And only on this basis was he given 12 years. We submitted an appeal for the sentence to be cancelled and for the case to be dismissed in general, since we consider that it was a provocation. Mekhti is a serious specialist in the processing of industrial wastes. He planned to build factories abroad, in the Czech Republic and other countries. And as a sociable person he, of course, communicated with people, he asked who can participate in such projects, completely peacefully, without any violations. And one of those people who he communicated with gave him information that he didn’t need, but he was not going to transfer it to anybody. This was the basis to pronounce a sentence in the form of 12 years of imprisonment.

Concerning his state of health. Mekhti’s health is bad now. It is unclear what will happen in the future. Currently we are trying to get him qualified medical care. He was taken to a specialised institution and normally examined, because he has many diseases. The policlinic is ready to accept him. The head of the pre-trial detention center must check whether or not it is possible to provide treatment in the conditions of a pre-trial detention center. A decision has to be made. And soon there will be a piece of paper that states that in the policlinic where he was treated earlier there are doctors who earlier observed him in order to bring him into this establishment. That’s why I am waiting to receive an answer very soon.

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The case of Mekhti Logunov is being constantly monitored by the “Uspishna Varta” human rights platform.

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