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Case against "Skhemy" journalist over "interfering with the work of a judge" closed after backlash

27.07.2023, 17:06

Following the July 27 backlash, the Slovyansk National Police closed the case for possible interference with the work of the Donetsk District Administrative Court judge Lyudmila Arestova "due to the lack of the corpus delicti."

Radio Liberty reports, citing the press office of the Prosecutor General's Office. The case was opened on June 27 by the Slovyansk District Prosecutor's Office after an appeal from the judge whose Russian citizenship the journalists of "Skhemy" (a Radio Liberty project) had discovered and revealed in their investigation.

"We inform you that on July 27, 2023, the proceedings No. 42023052720000025 (June 27, 2023) filed under Part 1 of Article 376 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine have been closed due to the lack of the corpus delicti," the Prosecutor General's Office reports.

We remind you that on July 13, "Skhemy" reported in their investigation that according to an extract from the automated system "Rospasport", a Donetsk District Administrative Court judge, Lyudmila Arestova, is a citizen of the Russian Federation. The extract indicates that Arestova received her Russian passport in 2014 on the basis of the so-called "agreement on the integration of Crimea into Russia," which recognized Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons who permanently lived on the peninsula at that time as citizens of Russia.

The journalists also found out that the judge has made multiple trips to the occupied Crimea between 2018 to January 2022, spending more than 250 days there in total. In her comment, the judge stated that she "has no Russian citizenship" and assumed that a passport "may have really been issued" to her, as to the rest of the people formally registered in Crimea, after the pseudo-referendum. As to the trips to the occupied peninsula, Arestova explained that she needed to visit her parents.

On July 26, 2023, it was reported that the Slovyansk district prosecutors have opened a case over Radio Liberty journalists' possible interference with the work of Donetsk District Administrative Court judge, Lyudmila Arestova, whose Russian citizenship "Skhemy" journalists had discovered. The case was opened after Judge Arestova reported "interference in the administration of justice aimed at discrediting her", sending the report to the Supreme Council of Justice and the Prosecutor General's Office.

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