Ukrainian who went to Russia to get medicine for his child jailed on "spying" charges - KHPG

10:00, 13 July 2018
Politics
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flickr.com/Jérémy LARROQUE

It is difficult otherwise to explain why the far more serious espionage charge surfaced only two months after his arrest, and why Kiyashko has been prevented from having an independent lawyer, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group wrote.

42-year-old Kiyashko is a former police major, who qualified as a defense lawyer in 2012.  According to his wife, it was because of their son’s recurring staphylococcal infections, that Ihor traveled to Nizhny Novgorod in Russia on April 9. She explains that the bacteriophage that he went there to collect destroys the staphylococcus. You can only buy stocks brought into the country through unofficial channels and these are never as effective, she explains, and says that this was not the first time Kiyashko had gone to Nizhny Novgorod where there is a factory producing the bacteriophage.

The FSB’s version is quite different, and has also significantly changed, too. Kiyashko reportedly pleaded guilty to a lighter charge (smuggling), while categorically rejecting the accusation of "spying" which emerged later.  

In the middle of May, Marina Kiyashko-Voloshchenko received a letter from FSB investigator saying her husband was suspected of an attempt to smuggle material and equipment that can be used to create weapons of mass destruction. The FSB story here is that he planned to sell RD-33 turbo engine blades, which are not available in Ukraine, to private enterprises, with this at odds with the claim that he was spying for Ukraine’s Security Service [SBU].

An attempt to buy these informally may constitute smuggling, but this remains a far cry from spying.  It was asserted – two months after Kiyashko’s arrest – that back in August 2017, Kiyashko had agreed to buy technical documentation about a multifunctional radio-location station used on S-400 missile systems, supposedly on SBU instructions. 

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Initially, Kiyashko had only a state-appointed lawyer, and it is very often the case that lawyers, effectively appointed by the investigators, are there to sign documents and encourage the detainee to "confess." 

In June Marina Kiyashko arranged with independent lawyer Yevgeny Gubin that he would represent her husband and the latter signed a contract with the detainee in mid-June.

Back in June, Gubin told Mediazona that he was not being provided with full access to the material of the case, but that he had managed to visit his client.  Kiyashko had complained of intolerable conditions in the pre-trail detention center. He was in a very small cell, with the ‘toilet’ in the actual cell, without any attempt to separate it, meaning that there was a permanent stench and cockroaches everywhere.   Kiyashko suffers from high blood pressure, has been very dizzy and nauseous, yet has not received any medical care.

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Gubin stated on July 5 that his client was being held in inhuman conditions aimed at forcing him to "confess."  On July 3, for example, he had been moved, without any explanation, to a special block where there are prisoners with an open form of tuberculosis.

However, on July 10, Kiyashko allegedly rejected Gubin's services but the lawyer was not able to see his client and ascertain why he had made this decision. 

Gubin himself is clear that Kiyashko has been placed under massive pressure and that the aim is to have a free hand in putting pressure on him to "confess" to non-existent "spying."

As reported, the same tactics were used to prevent Ukrainian pensioner Yuriy Soloshenko from having proper representation, while Valentin Vyhivsky was held incommunicado for many months where, in Vyhivsky’s words, the FSB had ways of ‘persuading’ people to cooperate.

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