January 18: Four months after the arbitrary arrest of activists headed by Grigory Petrenko, prosecutors demanded to merge the trial of the Petrenko Group with that of two others arrested last month on charges of involvement in the fighting in the Ukraine.
The decision was made by Judge Ludmila Ursu during the trial, despite the fact that the defendants and their lawyers had not even been notified.
The judge made the decision at the request of prosecutors, despite the violation of procedure, as the court began its consideration on the merits of the case of the Petrenko Group political prisoners.
In contrast to previous hearings, the prosecution was “strengthened” by the presence of two more prosecutors, including one who participated in searching the car of Grigory Petrenko’s wife, when stun grenades were planted there.
In addition, the courtroom was occupied by several dozen machine gunners, and the chair of the court session L. Ursu announced that the presence of masked gunmen did not frighten her, ordering the defense attorneys and accused to sit and continue the hearing in their presence.
The meeting began on Monday with the testimony of police officers who claimed they were beaten during a peaceful protest at the Prosecutor General’s Office on September 6, 2015.
In social networks, these police, who used force against women and the elderly, have already been sarcastically labelled “terpily” [defenseless, neglected].
Translated by Greg Butterfield