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Dmitriev to be released from custody on 28 January 2018

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The historian and head of the Memorial Society in Karelia, Yury Dmitriev, will be released from the Detention Centre in Petrozavodsk on Sunday, 28 January 2018, after spending more than a year there, remanded in custody.

On Wednesday, 27 December 2017, the Petrozavodsk City Court decided to change the measure of restraint from detention in custody to the detainee’s agreement not to leave the country, his defence attorney Victor Anufriev told «7x7».

Meanwhile, the Petrozavodsk prosecutor’s office has petitioned for a third assessment to be made of the photographs taken of Dmitriev’s adopted daughter. The historian will be subjected to an in-patient psychiatric examination. Both the new assessment of the photographs and the psychiatric examination of Yury Dmitriev will take place in Moscow, as defence attorney Anufriev has insisted, at the Serbsky Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Yury Dmitriev was arrested at his apartment in Petrozavodsk on Friday, 13 December last year. He was accused of preparing photographic pictures of his adoptive daughter Natasha. The historian’s defence, and experts who have testified in court, assert that the photos of Natasha were part of a health diary, maintained by Dmitriev for the adoption agency because of the girl’s serious malnutrition.

The trial began on 1 June 2017 at the Petrozavodsk City Court. Apart from creating pornographic materials using images of under-age children, Dmitriev was also charged under Articles 135 and 222 of the Russian Criminal Code (respectively, “Committing indecent acts without the use of force” and “Unlawful possession of a firearm”).

On 15 September, Judge Marina Nosova invited a St. Petersburg organisation, the Federal Department for Independent Forensic Assessment to carry out a second assessment of 9 of the 114 photographs taken of his daughter by Yury Dmitriev. Defence attorney Victor Anufriev was not satisfied with the court’s choice and on 3 October announced that he was formally objecting to the decision. The court turned down his petition.

The Federal Department for Independent Forensic Assessment is a commercial body with a statutory capital of 10,000 roubles [170 US dollars]. Anufriev was unable to locate a single employee of the firm. He insists that by law the court cannot entrust a forensic assessment to a commercial entity.

Translated by John Crowfoot


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