War and justice

Pskov paratrooper Andriy Medvedev has managed to have his case considered by a panel of judges

In Irpin, it is the second time that the court was not able to hold the preparatory session on the case of the Russian military accused of a war crime. Why did it happen, tells the MIHR journalist who attended the court.

On May 15, the Irpin City Court of Kyiv Region adjourned the preparatory session on the case of Pskov paratrooper Andriy Medvedev for the second time. He is accused of a war crime committed in Irpin in March of 2022. The investigation says that the Russian, jointly with other RF military, bullied civilians: beating them and imitating the execution of three locals by shooting.

At the beginning of the session, Medvedev asked the court for the journalists not to take pictures of him. The court allowed the mass media to take pictures of the adjudicatory process and its participants, except for Medvedev, “because of the defendant’s personal objections.”

Andriy Medvedev is led into the courtroom. Photo by MIHR

Then it turned out that all the three complainants did not come to court.  Two had been absent from the previous session. This time they all had been duly notified, and one of them had sent an application to try in his absence.  Given the circumstances, the parties did not object to starting the trial proceedings.

At the same time, Judge Natalia Karabaza explained to Medvedev that he has the right to examination of the case by several judges. It is provided by the Criminal Procedural Code, according to which a defendant may apply for consideration of the case by a panel of three judges if the article under which he is judged envisages punishment of more than ten years in prison.

The Russian military is accused under Article 438, Part 1, “Violation of the Laws or Customs of War” of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. That is an especially grave crime. If proven guilty, the man faces 8 to 12 years of imprisonment. Therefore, Medvedev exercised his right to collegial consideration of the case by filing the relevant petition. Kyrylo Shurkhno, the defendant’s lawyer from the Center for Free Legal Aid, supported the defendant, stating that Medvedev’s position had been coordinated with him as a defender

The court granted the petition, once again postponing the preparatory session. It means that the proceedings on charges against Medvedev will be transferred to the office of the court, where the auto-distribution system will determine among the judges of Irpin Court the composition of the board that will consider the case of Pskov paratrooper. After that, there will be a third attempt to hold the preparatory session.


Iryna Domashchenko, Journalist, MIHR

Translated from Ukrainian by Olena Balatska

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