: Zero credibility no problem for Russia in trial of tortured Ukrainian hostage

13:42 Apr. 6, 2016

Zero credibility no problem for Russia in trial of tortured Ukrainian hostage

A lawyer holds the scales of justice as she takes part in a demonstration of lawyers in front of the Paris courthouse, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010 in Paris. (AP)

Russian judiciary apparatus recommences notorious trial over Ukrainian citizen albeit absence of evidences

The farcical elements in Russia's second attempt to try Ukrainian Serhiy Lytvynov would make for a good comedy clip.  In real life humour is impossible since the 33-year old from a Luhansk oblast village has been held illegally in Russian detention for almost two years and doubtless still bears the scars of the original torture applied, according to Human Rights in Ukraine.

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Ukrainian journalist Oleksandr Mikhelson rightly notes that this trial is typical of all the prosecutions of Ukrainians that have accompanied Russia's military and propaganda offensive against Ukraine.  There was massive coverage by the Russian propaganda media of the extraordinary charges initially brought, and silence as they were proven groundless. The cases of Nadiya Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov attracted enough attention for the world to see the monstrous miscarriages of justice and keep following.  Most of the other prisoners are next to forgotten, and all those involved in Russia's repressive machine seem sure they can act with impunity.  S

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It must have been galling for the Investigative Committee to be forced to withdraw its surreal war crimes charges against Lytvynov. The fact that Lytvynov had never left his village and could not be a member of the Ukrainian Dnipro Battalion would certainly have been ignored.  However Viktor Parshutkin, Lytvynov's lawyer managed to demonstrate that Lytvynov could not have committed crimes that never happened, and neither the people named, nor their supposed addresses actually existed. 

Russia has shown no interest in investigating why Lytvynov should have ‘confessed' to heinous crimes he didn't commit.  Nor, unfortunately, after abducting Lytvynov after he had the misfortune to seek treatment for a tooth inflammation and holding him in custody for almost a year, did they show any wish to release him. 

Read also 'I will leave pre-trial detention centre only to go to Ukraine' – Savchenko

If the first charges were based solely on the cynical assumption that torture-induced confessions would prevail over hard facts, the one they came up with next was just plain sloppy. 

Lytvynov was charged with armed robbery in Ukraine of Alexander Lysenko, a  Russian national.  Lysenko reported the alleged robbery a year after it allegedly took place, and just coincidentally, after the Investigative Committee was forced to withdraw the war crimes charges.  To ensure themselves against further hiccups, like alibis, the alleged crime was said to have taken place ‘somewhere between' June 29 and July 2, 2014. 

Full story


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