Legal Case of the Week: Andriy Kolomiyets

posted 13 Jun 2016, 08:12 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 13 Jun 2016, 08:13 ]
On 10 June 2016 a court in Simferopol, Crimea, sentenced 
22-year-old Ukrainian Andriy Kolomiyets to 10 years in a maximum security prison. He was convicted in connection with two alleged incidents.  with the main ‘offence’ something which almost certainly never happened, but over which no Russian court could have any jurisdiction. Prosecutors had demanded that Kolomiyets be given 6 years for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at two Ukrainian Berkut riot police officers in Kyiv during Euromaidan in January 2014, and four years on a charge of possession of marijuana. Halya Coynash, writing in Human Rights in Ukraine, has reported that Kolomiyets' lawyer, Mikhail Kushlel, said that the court in Simferopol had ignored all the evidence that the alleged offences were fictitious: 

"During the court hearing on Thursday, Kolomiyets’ lawyer presented documents from Ukraine’s Prosecutor General which pointed out that Kolomiyets is not facing any charges over Euromaidan in mainland Ukraine. Most significantly, the documents confirm that while 33 Berkut officers were injured during the Euromaidan protests, neither of the two alleged ‘victims’ ever reported any injuries and neither is on Ukraine’s list of victims, though both were at the time Ukrainian nationals serving in a Ukrainian Berkut unit. The two former Berkut officers claim to have ‘suffered pain’. This was presumably memorable enough for them to claim after two and a half years to recognize the young man. Kolomiyets was certainly on Maidan, but denies having taken part in any violence. This, however, is not really the point since the very charge is a legal nonsense and in breach of Russia’s own Criminal Code (Article 12 § 3) which prohibits the prosecution of nationals who commit an offence on the territory of another country under Russian law unless 'the crime was directed against the interests of the Russian Federation or a citizen of the Russian Federation.'  "

Andriy Kolomiyets has alleged that he was subjected to electric shock and other forms of torture while in detention. Halya Coynash writes:

"Kolomiyets himself has given shocking details of the torture he says was used to force ‘confessions’ from him. He alleges that a senior officer from the Russian ‘Counter-Extremism’ department S. Borovik and other employees put a bag over his head and attached his fingers to a wire. A damp rag was then placed under his fingers and an electric current switched on. Kolomiyets is in no doubt that he would recognize the men who did this, but the court has shown no interest in his allegations. Nor did the earlier ‘lawyers’ provided by the investigators whose role was clearly only to persuade Kolomiyets to ‘confess’."

Halya Coynash, 'Ukrainian Gets 10-Year Sentence in Russia’s Revenge for Maidan,' Human Rights in Ukraine, 10 June 2016