Shevchenkivsky court of Kyiv sentenced colonel of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Ivan Bezyazykov to 13 years in jail and deprived him of a military rank as the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine reported.
“It is established that a military, while in captivity since August 25, 2014, in the territory of Donetsk uncontrolled by the Ukrainian authority, entered the composition of the intelligence agency of the illegal armed formation of Russia and occupied the position of the so-called deputy head of the first unit on analytics. This unit of the Donetsk People’s Republic was created and controlled by officials of the Armed Forces of Russia, FSB of the Russian Federation and representatives of the authority of the state-occupant in the uncontrolled territory of Donetsk region,” the message said.
The trial lasted since 2017; the prosecutor’s office stated it proved that Bezyazykov collected intelligence information on the movement of the forces and hardware of the Ukrainian military detachments, participating in the combat actions in the east of Ukraine and questioned captured Ukrainian military.
“He acted deliberately and realized that such activity inflicts harm to the state security of Ukraine,” the message said.
Meanwhile, the human rights organization Media initiative for human rights states that in the court, commander of Bezyazykov, General Petro Lytvyn was not questioned. Besides, the defendant did not conceal that the militants disposed him to fulfill particular work – with papers, hold phone talk – the activity of Bezyazykov be no different from the work of other prisoners who, according to evidence, equipped surveillance, cooked or unloaded ammunition.
Bezyazykov states that fulfilling his activity, he hoped that the Ukrainian side would find him and release from captivity and his actions did not harm the Ukrainian state and citizens.
Moreover, according to the defense, during captivity, Bezyazykov tried to use the knowledge of intelligence officer and after the exchange, he appealed to Ukraine’s Security Service to provide information to intelligence and joint investigative group on MH17 case. During the last meeting, he said the way the military intelligence agency of the militants' works, who headed it, who worked in the units. Particularly, about citizen of Russia Sergey Dubinsky, one of the defendants in the MH17 case and another person of interest in the MH17 case Oleg Pulatov.
The human rights group states that the SBU investigators and prosecutors decided to ‘use’ Bezyazykov and tried to persuade him to ‘think up’ evidence about financial flows of the terrorists.
“Before the court sessions, according to the defense, the prosecution did not provide any direct evidence of participation in the terroristic organization or state treason. Any witness testified about his cooperation with militants. Someone saw him in the uniform, someone was told that he does not want to return from captivity, someone was told that he is at the intelligence agency’ building,” the message said.
In the conclusion, the human rights group recommends the leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office to pay attention to the fact that ‘the previous group of the prosecutors along with the SBU investigators, probably, prepared potential fake witnesses who are able to lie about downed MH17 flight and financing of terrorism.
As it was reported earlier, the Ukrainian officer was released from the captivity of pro-Kremlin rebels in July 2016. Earlier, Bezyazykov was detained by the SBU and brought to trial under charges of collaboration with the militants.
On December 29, 2016, the investigators of the Security Service of Ukraine in coordination with the Prosecutor-General’s Office served Ivan Bezyazykov with high treason charge.