Witnesses in the case of journalist Mykola Semena failed to appear at a court hearing in the “Zheleznodorozhnyi District Court” of Simferopol. The occupation authorities accuse Mykola Semena of making public calls to violate of Russia's territorial integrity.
As reported by reporter of the Human Rights Information Centre in Crimea.
This was the third time when witnesses Maria Kostiuk and Serhiy Meshkovyi failed to appear at a court hearing.
According to Mykola Semena, Serhiy Meshkovyi gave false testimony at the preliminary investigation. This testimony formed the basis of the accusation.
At the court hearing the journalist stressed that Meshkovyi’s testimony is important for the case and suggested that his testimony was falsified by the investigator, or Meshkovyi himself is “ashamed of repeating all that lie directly to us”.
The “Court” granted the prosecutor's request for the compulsory delivery of witnesses and appointed to bring them in on May 10.
As a reminder, on February 15, twenty seven human rights organizations, united in the Civic Solidarity Platform, expressed their support for the Crimean journalist Mykola Semena, who faces imprisonment for five years for daring to express his opinion.
In spring of 2016, massive searches took place in Crimea, including in the independent journalists who are suspected of collaboration with Krym.Realii. A criminal case was opened with respect to the Radio Liberty’s author Mykola Semena on suspicion of threatening the territorial integrity of Russia. Russian investigation forbade him to leave the peninsula.
On August 23, his defense submitted a request to FSB to allow Semena to leave Crimea for medical treatment.
Crimean department of FSB refused to satisfy the request of the defense.
On November 28, Semena could not visit Brussels to receive the European Prize for the freedom of speech named after Pavlo Sheremet because of the ban on travel outside Crimea.
On January 20, Semena was presented an indictment in the case of separatism under the Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of Russia (Public appeals for the performance of extremist activity). Lawyer Kurbedinov stated that the indictment was presented in violation of the Criminal-Procedural Code.
Earlier, human rights defenders have named the freedom of expression stranglers in the occupied Crimea.
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