All views expressed here are the views of the author.
And no, he does not apologise.
February 8, 2015
In the name of Ukraine
Chief interrogator of City of Ivano-Frankivsk Criminal Court, Honorable Judge Rudenko, in presence of court secretary Ms.Kanyuk, Prosecutor General of Ivano-Frankivsk Mr. Gavrilyuk, prosecutor Rudnitsky as well as the defendant Mr. Kotsaba and his attorney Mr. Sulima, has ruled in the open court session on the motion filed by prosecution to apply preventive detention measures to the accused, Ruslan Kotsaba, DOB 18/08/1966; born and residing in Ivano-Frankivsk at the following address: Karmelyuk St.2/23: of Ukrainian ethnicity, Ukrainian citizen ; college educated; married, two dependent children ; no previous convictions ; stands accused of criminal activity punishable by part 1 article 111 and part 1 article 114-1 of Criminal Code of Ukraine.
The court has found the following:
Prosecution has filed the above-mentioned motion, as agreed with Attorney General, in connection with ongoing pre-trial investigation based on accusations against Mr Kotsaba of conducting criminal activity punishable by part 1 article 111 and part 1 article 114-1 of Criminal Code of Ukraine ( file No.22015090000002).
In particular, the investigation has established that on January 17 1015 Mr Kotsaba, with a deliberate aim of interfering with legal activities of Ukraine Armed Forces and other military formations pursuant to the law passed by Ukrainian parliament and signed by the President on January 15, 2015 "Regarding Partial mobilisation", posted a video appeal to President Poroshenko at his own website "Ruslan Kotsaba " as well as at the video-hosting site YouTube, titled "Internet-action: I REFUSE MOBILIZATION ".
In this video he has openly called upon citizens to resist mobilisation, defined by him as illegal under existing laws. The video, in which Mr. Kotsaba twists facts while appealing to potential recruits, stressing the illegality of mobilisation as well as the unwarranted murder of fellow citizens, which of course is not true, the aforementioned video has received a significant number of views on internet among the countrymen, which had a tangible negative effect on mobilisation efforts, seducing many Ukrainian citizens to attempt to avoid the draft.
After posting the above-mentioned video Mr. Kotsaba gave multiple interviews to Russian media.
In particular, he has taken part in propaganda-oriented talk show on Russian Channel One "The Time Will Tell" where he personally commented on aired fragments of his video appeal, yet again repeating his calls to resist the draft, as well as describing the events taking place in East of Ukraine as "civil war" - his actions clearly aimed at undermining legal activities of Armed Forces at this difficult time.
According to the results confirmed by the court expert in linguistics from the transcript of Mr. Kotsaba video appeal, he fully understood the criminality of his actions when calling upon Ukrainian citizens to follow his own personal example and to resist the draft efforts. Such appeals constitute one of possible forms of interfering with legal activities of Armed Forces, and with their main task in particular - that of defending the country.
It's worth mentioning that after Mr.Kotsaba posted his video appeal in internet, here was an active and synchronised campaign by Russian media sources Lifenews.ru and so-called Information Agency of Novorossiya to highlight his actions in anti-Ukrainian and subversive way (articles respectively titled "Ruslan Kotsaba: I Prefer Jail to Draft" and "Ukraine. Ruslan Kotsaba. I Refuse mobilisation ").
Another thing worth mentioning - on 22/01/2015, while in Lviv, Mr.Kotsaba took part via internet in Russian Channel One propaganda talk show "The Time Will Tell" where the fragments of his video were shown along with comments from talk show participants accusing central government in Kiev of "genocide against Donbass civilians "and of escalating the military conflict.
Continuing his criminal acts, Mr Kotsaba on 22/01/2015 took a flight Kiev-Moscow where at the invitation of Russian side on 23/01/2015 he took part in Channel Rossyia anti-Ukrainian talk show titled "Special Report".
Furthermore, on 25/01/2015, while in Ivano-Frankivsk, at the request of Russian counterparts and expecting monetary compensation, he took part via internet in anti-Ukrainian show "Central TV" aired by NTV channel, parts of his video were once again being broadcast.
Furthermore, between 23/01/2015 and 25/01/2015, at the request of NTV channel and expecting monetary compensation, Mr Kotsaba engaged in soliciting and videotaping reports of anti-mobilisation protests around Ivano-Frankivsk region, namely in the village of Cheremkhiv. After reaching an agreement with his Russian counterparts on 01/02/2015 Mr Kotsaba took a trip to allegedly "problem" villages of Cheremkhiv and Korshiv in order to attempt to record interviews of provocative nature regarding mobilisation with locals, in the presence of a representative of the foreign media source.
According to Supreme Rada Decree titled "The Appeal to UN, NATO, European Parliament, OSCE, PACE etc. to recognise Russia as an aggressor" Russian Federation is officially declared an aggressor-state by Ukrainian government.
According to the results confirmed by the court expert in linguistics from the transcript of Mr.Kotsaba video appeal, he fully understood the criminality of his actions when calling upon Ukrainian citizens to follow his own personal example and to resist the draft efforts. Such appeals constitute one of the forms of subversive activities with the aim of undermining the defensive capabilities of state of Ukraine in the current situation.
The guilt of Mr Kotsaba in the eyes of the prosecution is confirmed by the evidence collected through searches conducted on 28/01/2015 and 29/01/2015, by interrogation of witnesses Mr Shakhovets and Mr. Lutsyuk on 06/02/2015, by results reported as a part of covert investigation filed on 30/01/2015, by criminal linguistics expertise. As such, Mr Kotsaba is accused of committing serious crimes with aggravating circumstances, punishable by part 1 article 111 and part 1 article 114-1 of Criminal Code of Ukraine.
The court took into consideration the evidence presented by counterintelligence sources of Ivano-Frankivsk district, suspecting Mr Kotsaba of planned trip to so-called Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics for purposes of continuation of his criminal activity.
Considering that Mr Kotsaba is facing possible jail time sentence of over 5 years if convicted, we take into consideration prosecution concern that the accused may try to evade the law, destroy or alter the evidence, attempt to influence the witnesses, or to continue his criminal activity, the prosecution asks to apply preventive detention until the trial. Attorney General, after familiarising himself with the facts of the case, joins in pleading this motion to be approved.
During the court hearing the defendant and his attorney pleaded to deny the motion, citing political persecution and freedom of speech. They asked to elect a preventative measure other than jail.
After hearing the prosecution case, the defendant's statement and careful study of the materials I hereby declare :
According to part 1 article 183 of Criminal Code of Ukraine, the preventative measures such as home arrest, bail etc can't be applied to those standing trial on articles 101-114 of part 1 of Criminal Code of Ukraine unless the prosecution explicitly considers such a measure sufficient.
According to the article 183 part 2 no person can be detained for pre-trial unless the accused has previous criminal record or faces the jail sentence in excess of 5 years.
07/02/2015 at 23:50 local time a record was entered to certify that Mr. Kotsaba stands accused of crimes listed in article 111 part 1 and 114 part 1 of Criminal Code of Ukraine, carrying corresponding sentences of 12-15 years jail sentence with or without confiscation of possessions and 5 to 8 years jail sentence.
Ruling on this case I took into consideration demands imposed by articles 2,3 and 4 of Convention on Human Rights as well as modern practices of European Court on Human Rights which states that a waver of rights to freedom and inviolability of individuals is possible only with strict observation of existing laws and procedures.
The circumstances to which the defendant and his attorney referred while pleading for leniency are deemed by this court not to be sufficient to guarantee that risk of defendant avoiding justice is mitigated, according to article 177 of Criminal Code of Ukraine.
To sum it up, considering that Mr. Kotsaba is accused of grave crimes against safety and security of the state, in addition to grave crimes against Armed Forces; considering that the prosecution has proved beyond the reasonable doubt impossibility of applying lesser preventative measures to the accused,
I therefore move to grant prosecution motion of pre-trial confinement of Mr.Kotsaba for the duration of 60 days without possibility of bail.
According to articles 29, 55, 62, 63, 129 of Constitution of Ukraine, articles 176-178, 183, 193, 194, 196, 197, 205, 209, 395 of Criminal Code of Ukraine,
Adopt pre-trial detention for 60 days as a preventative measure against Mr Kotsaba,
accused of conducting criminal activity punishable by
part 1 article 111 and part 1 article 114-1 of Criminal Code of Ukraine ( file No.22015090000002).
Take the accused into custody immediately upon reading of this decree in the courtroom.
Accused to be held at Ivano-Frankivsk city jail facilities.
This decree is valid immediately and until April 7 2015 23:20.
I entrust prosecutor Gavrilyuk, the director of local prosecution office, with execution of this decree.
The parties involved are to be notified immediately.
The appeal can be made within 5 days directly to Court of Appeals of Ivano-Frankivsk
Signed: Judge Rudenko
Translation: Valentina Lisitsa