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  2. Court in Petrozavodsk began revision of Yury Dmitriev’s case

Court in Petrozavodsk began revision of Yury Dmitriev’s case

Alexander Gnetnev
Yury Dmitriev
Photo from 7x7’s archive

On Tuesday, November 24, the Petrozavodsk City Court began the revision of the criminal case against Yury Dmitriev, a researcher of Stalin's terror and the head of the Karelian Memorial, behind closed doors. The historian is accused of lewd act, as well as production of pornography and possession of weapons.

At a hearing on November 24, the city court extended Yury Dmitriev's period under guard until the end of February. Lawyer Igor Perov, who represents Dmitriev's adopted daughter as a victim before the court, reported this to 7x7.

“[Dmitriev’s] period under guard was extended until February 27, 2021. The court adjourned the hearing until December 17 this year. We will start working to the point then,” Perov said.

Applying a measure of restraint for Dmitriev, in fact, is a formal moment, since the activist was sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Supreme Court of Karelia and is in custody.


Dmitriev's case started four years ago. In the winter of 2016, the activist was detained by law-enforcement officers. He was suspected of production of pornography involving his own minor adopted daughter. Photos of the historian’s daughter being naked that were on his computer came into the hands of investigators.

In April 2018, the court in Petrozavodsk acquitted Dmitriev of production of child pornography and lewd act, but found him guilty of illegal possession of weapons. In June of the same year, the Supreme Court of the republic overturned the decision of the Petrozavodsk court. The case was remanded for retrial, and the activist was soon detained again and taken into custody on suspicion of sexual assault against his adopted daughter.

On July 22, 2020, the Petrozavodsk City Court sentenced Yury Dmitriev to 3.5 years in a maximum security penal colony for sexual violence against his minor adopted daughter. At the same time, he was acquitted of charges on production of pornography, lewd act, and possession of weapons. Then on September 29, the Supreme Court of Karelia heard appeals against the decision of the city court that was announced in the summer and toughened the sentence from 3.5 to 13 years of imprisonment in a maximum security penal colony. The verdict in the acquittal part was also overturned completely. The case on taking photos of the child for production of pornography, lewd act, and possession of basic parts of a firearm without permission was remanded for retrial in the city court.

Dmitriev does not confess himself guilty. Lawyer Viktor Anufriev represents him before the court.

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