Lefortovo District court of Moscow extended the term of detention for all 24 prisoners of Ukrainian sailors, and the defense party intends to appeal this decision within three days. Mykola Polozov, the lawyer, posted this on Facebook.
“Lefortovo District court of Moscow, in six trials of three judges, Halimova A. H., Kaneva O.V., and Ryabtseva S.O. reviewed the petition of the Supreme Court of the FSB of Russia to extend the terms of detention of 24 Ukrainian POW sailors. Regarding all prisoners of war, the judges decided to satisfy the request and to extend the detention period by another three months - until the end of July. The decision on extending the detention period for each POW will be appealed by our lawyers within the three-day deadline set by law,” Polozov said.
Besides, according to the lawyer, during the court sessions the defense of POWs had objected to the petition of the investigation unit and added the PACE resolution, as well as the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, according to which the status of sailors kept by the Russian authorities was defined as prisoners of war.
A number of petitions were filed, including a petition for a change of jurisdiction, as cases concerning prisoners of war should be reviewed only by military courts.
However, it did not change the decision of the judges.
According to Polozov, relatives of prisoners of war came to the court hearings, as well as Ukrainian consuls, foreign diplomats, and also Lyudmyla Denisova, the Parliamentary Envoy for Human Rights.
However, the court hearings were held closely at the request of the investigation unit. Relatives were allowed to the hall literally for 5 minutes at the beginning of the process, after which the session was closed. For the second time relatives were allowed to the room only to hear the sentence.
On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.
All 24 sailors on board were captured and delivered to Moscow – 21 of them were delivered to Lefortovo remand center, the rest came to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.
Facing an extension of the sentence term, Ukrainian POWs detained in the Kerch Strait refused to testify in Lefortovo court. Sailors were distributed into six groups, four people in each. On January 15, 2019, Moscow's Lefortovo district court decided to keep 20 Ukrainian sailors in remand until April 24. On January 16, the court extended the detention term for another 4 sailors.