On February 12, a meeting was to be held in the case of the historian, the head of the regional department of "Memorial", Yury Dmitriev, who is accused of sexual assault against a minor. The Russian actress Liya Akhedzhakova, who from the very beginning acted in defense of Dmitriev, came to the meeting. This was reported by the correspondent of «7x7» from the Petrozavodsk city court.
The meeting lasted only five minutes: the court postponed it till February 27. The reason was the absence of Dmitriev’s lawyer Viktor Anufriev due to illness. In the corridor of the court, Yury Dmitriev was met by graduates and students of the Moscow film school, a deputy of the Karelian Legislative Assembly from "Yabloko", Emilia Slabunova, and People’s Artist of Russia Liya Akhedzhakova.
On February 11, Lia Akhedzhakova performed at the Musical Theater of Karelia in the play "My Grandson Benjamin" and stayed in Petrozavodsk to attend Dmitriev’s trial.
"This is a wild, incredible villany towards everyone, not to mention Yury Alekseevich. This casts a shadow on the whole society, on the whole country, on decent people," said Akhedzhakova. "But there is one nice thing: the whole world found out about it. Memorial [Sandarmokh] became famous. And the name of Dmitriev is known to the whole world. They failed to make it quietly, to bury, to do dirt on him. But instead — an incredible (sorry for that word) advertisement. Advertisement for justice, for our civil society, which can do nothing, and for our history. The perversion of history has become a national idea."
The head of the Karelian branch of the Memorial Society and the researcher of the Stalinist repressions Yury Dmitriev was first arrested on December 13, 2016 on suspicion of producing pornographic pictures of his adopted daughter. On March 9, 2017, he was charged under Article 222 of the Criminal Code of Russia (“Illegal possession of firearms”).
In July 2017, the Interregional Human Rights Organization “Memorial” recognized Yury Dmitriev as a political prisoner and demanded to stop his criminal prosecution.
On April 5, 2018, the court of Petrozavodsk acquitted the researcher on the article on pornography, but the Supreme Court of Karelia cancelled this decision on June 14. Yury Dmitriev was again detained on June 27. The investigative committee opened a new criminal case under the article on “sexual assault against a minor”. At the request of lawyer Viktor Anufriev, both cases were merged into one.
Sergey Markelov, Elena Bayakina, «7x7»