Mustafa Degermendzhi: "It’s not criminals being tried here"

posted 28 May 2018, 07:00 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 28 May 2018, 07:15 ]
“Yes, your honour, indeed, after three years I feel like expressing separate thanks to the people who have come to support us. As for the criminal case, overall it can be characterized in a few words. I will quote [Pavel] Nikel. That’s the investigator who ran our case during the investigation stage (
at present Pavel Nikel is employed by the Novosibirsk Region Investigative Committee Administration—OVD-Info). 

To my question as to why only Crimean Tatars are being tried in this criminal case, he said this apparently simple thing, which perfectly characterizes this criminal case. To my question, he replied: “Victors don’t get tried.” There’s nothing much to add to his words here. This is a very capacious and voluminous sentence that allows us to understand as a whole what has been going on here all these three years. I think everyone has long since understood that it’s not criminals being tried here, because I’m certain that, like myself, many think that no one here committed any particular crime. Yes, we went out that day to support the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but circumstances came together in such a way that now we are in Russia. There’s no getting away from that, though. As Comrade Putin said in his inauguration speech, and as Aksenov said about this more than once: “It’s long past time to forget all the moments from early 2014. Everyone has moved on.” I don’t understand why this moment has dragged on like this here. Vladimir Vladimirovich pardoned our alleged organizer (meaning Akhtem Chiigoz—OVD-Info) long ago, and therefore, to be honest, to add to what’s already been said, we’ve already said lots of all kinds of things. Some we paid attention to, some we didn’t, we’ve had all kinds. All that’s left is to hope for a fair decision from the court, but above all for Allah’s help. I have nothing more to add.”

    Mustafa Degermendzhi, defendant in the "Case of the 26th February," speaking at his trial in which judgment is to be pronounced in Simferopol, Crimea, on 4 June 2018. A native of Grushevka in Sudakovsky district, Mustafa Degermendzhi was arrested on 7 May 2015, in his native village. Up until 6 April 2017, he was held on remand; after that, he, like Ali Asanov, was put under house arrest. Mustafa is the son of a figure in the so-called “Vedzhie Kashka case,” Bekir Degermendzhi, who was arrested on 23 November 2017. 

For more information about the "Case of 26 February", see CrimeaSOS

Translated by Marian Schwartz

Photo: Mustafa Degermendzhi (left) with fellow defendant Ali Asanov [(c) Anton Naumliuk]