Yesterday, on the 5th of October, the tenth hearing of the case on the merits against Gennady Kernes took place in the Kiev District Court of Poltava. There were no dancing activists with loud music. The demonstrators numbers were significantly smaller than during the previous meetings, only about ten people with posters and flags.
Prosecutors announced the charges against Kharkiv mayor and two of his bodyguards – Vitaly Blinnikov and Evgeny Smitskiy. The announcement took for about an hour. Neither Gennadiy Kernes nor his security guards pleaded guilty. They also refused to testify first. The court has not yet proceeded with the hearing of the case parties.
Defendants lawyers appealed with several motions, particularly on the need to attract the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov in the process. “I believe that country’s high-profile people are putting pressure on the court. It concerns Arsen Avakov and Anton Gerashchenko [adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs]. I can provide you with a lot of examples. For instance, their posts on Facebook. Let’s not turn the court into a circus” – said Kernes. The judge Andrei Antonov granted the Kernes’ petition and attached the complaint of the lawyers about minister’s publications to the case files.
The hearing of Gennady Kernes case was adjourned preliminary until October 19th. The exact date of the trial will be specified closer to the mentioned term. The possible date adjustments can be caused by judge’s duty journey.
Recall the previous session was postponed. The defendants are formally charged with three episodes: Part 2 of Article 146 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“torture”); Part 2 of Article 127 of the Criminal Code (“unlawful deprivation of liberty or kidnapping”); Part 1 of Article 129 of the Criminal Code (“death threat”). If the guilt is proven, the accused may face imprisonment for up to 10 years.