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The “Bears”: the court refused to replace the lawyer on the grounds of possible  disruption of the hearings

About the case: According to the investigation, members of the sabotage and assault group “Bears” participated in military actions in the the Donetsk People’s Republic. Each of them is accused of violent seizure of power, participation in an illegal armed formation and training for terrorist activities.

The case is being considered by the three-judge panel, presided by Gurgen Serzhikovich Dovlatbekyan of the Southern Military District Court.

The hearing was scheduled for 10:00 a.m., it started at 11:45 a.m. due to the absence of the defendant. At the beginning of the hearing, the judge announced the journalist’s right to take photographs, also stated that there was a member of the public at the hearing and asked me if I was someone’s relative, to which I replied: “No, I was just a member of the public.” There was indignation from the defense side, someone asked: “Who is this?”

The prosecutor asked me, “What is your last name?” I replied, “I told you, I’m a citizen.”

The judge read where the previous hearings ended. The prosecutor filed a motion to add to the case inquiries to the military police of the Donetsk People’s Republic about the whereabouts of the other defendants. The prosecutor also filed a motion to prolong the detention of the three defendants for three months and to examine the documents related to them on the basis of this motion. The prosecutor reads the titles of all the volumes relating to the case. The judge asked the defense to comment on the motion to extend the detention, and the three defendants present did not object. The judge asked if there were any objections from the parties, there were none. It is decided to first review the case file and then give the defense the floor to speak on the motion. The prosecutor begins to announce the case file inaudibly.

Periodically, the judge asks the defendants and their lawyers if there are any questions or objections. During the entire reading of the case file, neither the defendants nor their counsel object.

The judges retire to the deliberation room to decide on the motion to extend the preventive detention.

The request is granted and the preventive measure is extended for three months, until December 29. 

The appointed lawyer requested that he be relieved of his duties as Prince’s defense attorney, because the defendant had entered into an agreement with an attorney of his choice . The judge checked with defendant Prince, who responded that he objected to the participation of appointed counsel. The judge asked the new defense attorney if there would be any disruptions to the hearing; the defense attorney did not answer directly, saying that “anything can happen. The appointed lawyer’s request was denied in order to avoid disruption of the hearing. 

The hearing was adjourned.

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