Court of occupied Crimea extended arrest of Balukh until March 4

The court of the occupied Crimea prolonged the term of arrest of pro-Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh, who is accused by the Russian FSB of illegal possession of weapons, until March 4.

As reported by the Crimean Human Rights Group.

“Today, on February 3, 2017, Oleksandr Abelyashev, the judge of the “Razdolnensky District Court” extended the term of pre-trial detention of Volodymyr Balukh for additional month, until March 4. Ukrainian was brought from the SIZO (pre-trial detention centre) of Simferopol for the court trial. Earlier the same judge Abelyashev chose the pre-trial detention and later prolonged it to February 5, 2017”, - stated in the statement of the Crimean Human Rights Group.

Crimean Human Rights Group reminds that detention of Balukh threatens his health. On January 19, he suffered an acute attack of kidney stone disease, he was put on a drip in the medical unit.

According to the defense of Balukh there are no reasons to keep him in detention. The lawyer appealed the decision of court of first instance and requested for the “Supreme Court” of Crimea to replace the pre-trial detention for house arrest, but the “court” rejected the appeal.

As a reminder, On December 8, 2016, FSB conducted a 4 hour search in the house of Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh and his mother and “found” 90 rounds of ammunition and several TNT blocks in the attic of the Balukh’s house. Searches were conducted before, each time during the searches they took down the Ukrainian flag from his roof and seized it. There is reason to believe that the FSB officers planted the ammunition during the search in order to falsification of a new criminal case against the activist.

On December 12 Razdolnensky District Court of Crimea under control of Russian authorities has chosen a measure of restraint for Balukh in the form of detention for a period of 30 days. The court disregarded the fact that the procedural documents were drafted with significant violations and that on the content of Volodymyr is his old mother, who is 73 years old.

On December 14 investigator in the presence of a lawyer charged the Ukrainian under the part 1 of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code. Crimean does not agree with accusations and does not plead guilty.

On December 26 Crimean Human Rights Group reported that Balukh suffers from chronic bronchitis, which intensified in the crowded jail cell.

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