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  2. The court extended the imprisonment of the Karelian historian Yury Dmitriev accused in pornography production

The court extended the imprisonment of the Karelian historian Yury Dmitriev accused in pornography production

Attorney: Investigators and the prosecutor's office hasten to send the case to court

Sergey Markelov
Yury Dmitriev
Photo by Sergey Markelov

On April 10, the judge of Petrozavodsk City Court Anton Levkin extended the imprisonment of the historian Yury Dmitriev for a month. He will remain in custody until May 12, as reported by the "7x7" journalist. On the same day, there was one more court session regarding the Dmitriev's case, where the investigator's motion for limiting the time of intake screening process was examined.



On April 10, Yury Dmitriev was brought to the courtroom and took away under escort several times. At the first session, the judge Anton Levkin took a 10-minute recess, and after that he supported the request of the prosecutor Alexey Silchenko: "The motion for an in camera hearing to be granted, the hearing on a motion to extend the imprisonment of the accused Dmitriev to proceed in a closed judicial session”.

The journalists were left to wait for the court judgement in the corridor.

The second time Yuri Dmitriev was taken from the third to the first floor, when the judge again took a recess. After 15 minutes, he announced: "Under the weight of the crimes committed, he may abscond during the investigation or trial, as well as embrace parties to a criminal proceeding, since the victim isnearly related to Dmitriev, and because of her age is under the parental pressure of the accused ... <...> The court held that the motion was to satisfy, the imprisonment of the defendant Yury Dmitriev to extend for one month, up to five months in total, that was until May 12, 2017 inclusive.

The session itself without recesses took about forty minutes. Viktor Anufriev, the Moscow attorney of Yuri Dmitriev. called such a sitting of court a formal procedure. "If the investigator is the one who addressed, it is more than 98% chance that the court will satisfy it. For the reasons of formalism, we will probably appeal this decision. Right away it is possible to say that the Supreme Court of Karelia will affirm the court decision. This is the law-enforcement practice of the courts," said the lawyer Victor Anufriev.


Another case

While the court was in session, a one-man protest took place next to pretrial detention centre in Petrozavodsk. At the crossroad of Herzen Street and Lenin Avenue, Andrei Litvin, a well-known activist and a friend of Yuri Dmitriev, appeared with a poster. There were colorful words: "Freedom to Dmitriev, who returned the graves and names of the USSR state terrorism victims from oblivion".

The same day at 15:00, the court held for the second time to hear the investigator's motion "for limiting the time of intake screening process". According to the investigator, Yury Dmitriev and his attorney have been familiarising with the case materials for too long, and they do it on purpose. The investigator asked the court that the accused would been reading them for no more than two days, since he can do it quickly: Dmitriev has a higher education and an experience of working with documents. As the attorney said, Yuri Dmitriev was taking notes, as his fate depends on this.

Viktor Anufriev

“In my opinion, investigators and the prosecutor's office hasten to send the case to court. This case does not suffer haste. As the prosecutor and investigators are truly saying, he [Yury Dmitriev] is accused of committing gravest crimes. Therefore, every word here, every page requires careful study, comparison, analysis, but not just running eyes over the dossier, as we are exacted,” Viktor Anufriev believes.




The judge Anton Levkin here also let hear the investigator's arguments, so Yury Dmitriev should read the dossier by April 14.

"Since the announcement that the investigation is over, we actually had had the opportunity to get familiar [with the dossier] for 13 working days. Four out of them, the investigator did not come to see Dmitriev. Another four days he came only for three hours. They do so if the case papers have been studied for a month, two, six months. And here it's nothing more than just arbitrariness," said the attorney.

The judge has dismissed the countercomplaint of the attorney, who asked for a reexamination. Viktor Anufriev will appeal both decisions of the judge. According to him, Karelia still feels like a "not very favorable place in terms of the legislative execution in the Russian Federation".


A historian and the chairman of the Karelian branch of the International Memorial Society Yury Dmitriev was arrested on December 13, 2016. He was accused of producing pornographic materials depicting the under-aged. Scientists, human rights activists, journalists, Orthodox priests and participants of the International Days of Remembrance for the Victims of the Great Terror have taken a stand in his favour. The Dmitriev's case was also discussed on February 9, 2017 during the Russian Presidential Council for Human Rights offsite meeting. The Council has not made any decisions regarding the case yet. Yury Dmitriev, as reported on March 9, 2017, was brought in new indictments; in addition to producing pornographic materials depicting the under-aged, he is now charged with Article 135 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("Committing non-violent acts of violence") and 222 one ("Illicit possession of firearms").


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