Odesa Court of Appeals keeps in place the earlier court ruling that placed Serhiy Sternenko and Ruslan Demchuk under house arrest. The court also rejected the defendant’s appeal to be moved for house arrest in Kyiv instead of Odesa.
Before the court hearing, Sternenko informed in his Facebook announcement that Ukrainian ‘Golos’ MP Roman Lozynskiy was set to bail him out. This bail bid was also rejected.
According to Masi Nayem, the defendant’s lawyer, the prosecutors lodged the request for interrogation of the ballistics expert raising the questions of his case judgment.
‘In first trial the prosecutors didn’t initiate such interrogation, back then, everything was clear for them. [Now] the court says agrees to the prosecutors’ appeal. The thing itself just proves that the prosecutors are hampering the trial’, said Nayem.
The court will resume hearings on Sternenko’s appeal on May 20.
Here is what you must know about Serhiy Sternenko trial
On February 23, Odesa’s Prymorskyi District Court found Ukrainian public activist Serhiy Sternenko guilty on the charges of pro-Russian activist Serhiy Sherbych abduction in 2015. The case expiration made the prosecutors bring Sternenko to court on charges of robbery claiming that he and his alleged accomplice Ruslan Demchuk had robbed Sherbych of 300 hryvnas in cash. The activist was taken in custody and appealed on his case.
The ruling faced intense public backlash culminating in the Kyiv rally that left the president’s office spray-painted with graffiti calling on justice for Sternenko and other activists. The appellate court dropped some charges yet agreed to put Sternenko and Demchuk under house arrest. On April 16, the court began a hearing on the appeal they filed on Odesa’s Prymorskyi District Court ruling.