Poltava court rules to close Maidan abductions case against Kharkiv Mayor Kernes
Poltava's Kyiv District Court has ruled to halt the trial of Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes and his guards Vitaliy Blynnyk and Yevhen Smytskiy who had been charged with abducting and assaulting members of the local EuroMaidan movement in 2014.
"On August 10, the judge of the Kyiv District Court of Poltava, Andriy Antonov, ruled to close the case on charges against Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes, Interior Ministry officer Vitaliy Blynnyk and security guard Yevhen Smytskiy due to prosecutors recalling their indictment," Kernes wrote on Facebook.
It is reported the decision may be appealed within seven days.
According to Liga.net, the judge explained that the prosecutors' failure to support prosecution and attend the hearings is perceived as recalling the indictment as such.
In turn, the Anti-Corruption Action Center notes that a total of 19 prosecutors were dealing with the case, suggesting that the failure of such a massive team to deploy representatives for court hearings could be a deliberate act in the wake of Kernes's recent statements in support of President Poroshenko.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes and two of his guards, Vitaliy Blynnyk and Yevhen Smytskiy, were suspected of abducting and assaulting participants in the local EuroMaidan on January 25, 2014.
On March 2, 2015, Kernes was charged with committing crimes under Part 2, 3 Article 27, Part 2 Article 146 (illegal deprivation of liberty or abduction), Part 2, 3 Article 27, Part 2 Article 127 (torture), Part 2, 3 Article 27, Part 1 Article 129 (threat of murder) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
On April 2, 2015, the High Specialized Court of Ukraine ruled to postpone the consideration of criminal proceedings against Kernes from the Dzerzhynskiy District Court of Kharkiv to the Kyiv District Court of Poltava.