In the Russian-occupied Crimea, on May 10, at 2 p.m. a court hearing of the criminal case against Crimean-based journalist and Radio Liberty contributor Mykola Semena is scheduled, Radio Liberty reports.
The previous session of the Zaliznychnyi rayon court of Simferopol (the Russian-occupied Crimea), which took place on May 3, was rescheduled due to failure to appear of the witnesses for prosecution, whom the court ordered to bring by force to the next session.
If Semena is found guilty, he is facing a prison time of up to five years.
On December 7, 2016, Mykola Semena was officially accused of a criminal offence under Part 2 Article 280.1. of the Criminal Code of Russia «Public calls for actions aimed at violation of the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation». The criminal case is six volumes large, the lawyers have started examining the case.
On January 20, 2017, in the Russian-occupied Crimea journalist Mykola Semena was handed the accusatory conclusion in the separatism case. According to the investigation, the Crimean journalist «prepared an article called «Blockade — a necessary first step towards liberation of Crimea», in which «the calls for violation of the territorial integrity of Russia» were identified.
Semena’s lawyer Emil Kurbedinov pointed out that the accusatory conclusion was handed with violation of the Criminal Code of Process: a representative of the prosecutor’s office was supposed to hand the document, and Semena received the verdict from the FSB investigator Oleksandr Parshutin in the department’s building.
The Russian FSB claims it was Mykola Semena, who under a pseudonym wrote the material for ‘Krym.Realii’ named “Blockade — a necessary first step towards liberation of Crimea”.
The ex-«prosecutor» of the annexed Crimea Natalia Poklonska, who was the one to accuse Semena, claimed that «Krym.Realii» enabled «justification of acts of sabotage and extremism». The 66-year old journalist faces five years of prison.