Legal Case of the Week: Stanislav Klykh

posted 28 Nov 2016, 02:53 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 28 Nov 2016, 02:54 ]
On 21 November 2016 Ukrainian Stanislav Klykh, recently sentenced to 20 years in prison, was given an additional sentence of one month for ‘contempt of court’, allegedly seen in his ‘insulting a prosecutor’. Halya Coynash, writing on Human Rights in Ukraine, reports: 'The sentence passed on Nov 21 adds only a month to Russia’s 20-year sentence against Ukrainian Stanislav Klykh, but its cynicism is of extraordinary brutality.' Coynash points out that 'The behaviour in question had been one of the numerous signs that Klykh was in a seriously disturbed state after the 10 months in which Russia held him totally incommunicado, subjecting him to torture and filling him with psychotropic drugs.' 

Caucasian Knot reported that on 21 November Judge Akhtem Shailov from the Zavodsky District Court in Grozny convicted Klykh of ‘insulting a prosecutor’ and sentenced him to 240 hours of compulsory labour, replacing this with one month’s imprisonment on the grounds Klykh is already serving a term in prison. The prosecutor had demanded 1.5 months’ imprisonment. Coynash points out that 'There had been no "contempt of court", and the very prosecution was a cruel mockery of Klykh.'

Halya Coynash writes: 'There had never been any investigation into both men’s allegations of torture, including, in Klykh’s case, the application of psychotropic drugs, nor any independent psychiatric assessment. His lawyer Marina Dubrovina had sought a psychiatric investigation from the outset, but any checks carried out were totally perfunctory (details here). An examination was finally ordered in January after Klykh showed overtly disturbed behaviour in court. The ‘examination’ by the Russian prison service’s psychiatrists resulted in Klykh receiving an improbable clean state of health and then being forcibly administered unidentified drugs. These were probably heavy-duty tranquilizers, but his lawyer’s attempts to ascertain their nature were fruitless.'   

Stanislav Klykh had been sentenced together with Mykola Karpyuk in May 2016 to 20 and 22 years' imprisonment, respectively, for allegedly killing Russian soldiers in Chechnya in 1994 – 1996. On appeal, the Supreme Court upheld the sentences on 26 October 2016Human rights activist Zoya Svetova, a prominent rights activist, called the trial 'one of the most insane and monstrously falsified prosecutions initiated against Ukrainian nationals since the annexation of Crimea.' 

Amnesty International described the trial of Stanislav Klykh and Mykola Karpyuk as 'grossly unfair'. 

Amnesty International has stated: 'The accusation was based on the two men’s confessions extracted under torture, and the testimony of one witness, who had also been sentenced for killing Russian servicemen in Chechnya. The evidence supporting Stanislav Klykh’s and Mykola Karpyuk alibi that they could not have been in Chechnya during this conflict was not admitted by the court. At the appeal hearing the defence lawyers presented evidence that the two men’s rights to a fair trial had been violated, the judge had attempted to unduly influence the jury, and the fact that the men were held in a cage in the court room, in accordance with Russian practice, which creates an impression of guilt incompatible with the presumption of innocence. The appeal court agreed to include the vital evidence supporting the two men’s alibis, but upheld the conviction. Both men were denied access to the lawyers of their choice during several months after they were first detained, and allege that they were tortured to force them to confess. The torture and other illtreatment appears to have affected Stanislav Klykh’s mental health.' 

Halya Coynash, 'Cynical 2nd sentence passed on Ukrainian political prisoner whom Russia is driving insane,' Human Rights in Ukraine, 23 November 2016
Zoya Svetova, 'Российские присяжные признали украинцев виновными в убийстве десятков людей во время чеченской войны,' Open Russia, 19 May 20916
'Суд признал Клыха виновным в оскорблении прокурора,' Caucasian Knot, 23 November 2016