The verdict to the Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh is a reprisal against the activist, the expert of the Crimean Human Rights Group Volodymyr Chekrygin stated in a commentary to QHA.
Balukh was sentenced to five years in prison. The "court" in the occupied Crimea sentenced the Ukrainian political prisoner to serving punishment in the colony of the general regime, and also imposed a fine of 10,000 rubles.
Such a decision was made by the so-called "judge" in view of the previous verdict for alleged "storage of ammunition," when Volodymyr Balukh was sentenced to 3 years and 7 months of imprisonment.
“It's just a reprisal against the activist. The case, in fact, is created out of thin air. That is, a skirmish occurred with the head of the detention centre, and the initiator of the clash was the head of the detention center, who, walking past Volodymyr, pushed him in the back, and he reflexively pushed back with his elbow and the detention centre officer got kicked in the stomach. On the basis of this, the investigation concluded that the insulator can no longer continue working in its usual mode.”
The human rights defender stressed that "there was no question of any fair trial and consideration of the case".
"Even the head of the detention centre admitted that he had virtually no claims to Volodymyr, and the FSB forced him to write a report. The whole matter is falsified, like all previous cases against Volodymyr.”
According to Chekrygin, if the defence of the activist lodges an appeal against the verdict, then no acquittal should be expected.
“Based on the experience of the cases against Volodymyr Balukh, the appeal in the previous case led to the court reviewing the case again. Although, purely on a formal basis, because the judge who considered the case, did not have the right to do it at all, because she had made a decision with regard to Volodymyr. If the judge made a decision in a criminal case, it is considered that she is already biased and has no right to consider the case. The case was reconsidered, absolutely the same term rendered, Balukh was sentenced to 3.7 years of the colony settlement, so it was a purely formal revision. After that, the second decision was appealed and the court changed the sentence for two months, that is, it is also possible to say formally reduced the term by two months. I think that in this case too, if there is any revision, there will be no acquittal, and, perhaps again, his term will change for just a couple of months.”
Earlier, a member of the Crimean Human Rights Group Oleksandr Sedov said that the second criminal case against Volodymyr Balukh was fabricated by the FSB, and not the head of the Razdolnensky detention center. Sedov further noted that the case against Balukh was initiated because he did not admit the verdict.