On January 31, the Department of Criminal Cases of the Senate decided not to initiate cassation proceedings in a criminal case of a person accused of participation in the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Having evaluated the arguments contained in the accused's cassation complaint, the Senate did not have any doubts about the lawfulness of the appealed decision, as well as the case under consideration is not of significant importance in the formation of case law. Along with the decision of the Senate, the decision of Riga Regional Court of September 21, 2021 enters into force, by which the judgment of the first instance court is left unchanged and the accused is found guilty under Section 77.1 of the Criminal Law and sentenced with imprisonment for 5 years and probation supervision for 3 years. The decision of the Senate cannot be appealed.

The Senate indicates in its decision that the argument put forward by the accused regarding the violations committed by the court, thus finding him guilty of the criminal offense provided for in Article 77.1 of the Criminal Law, is related to the complainant's contrary view of the factual circumstances and the assessment of the evidence. The first instance court, judgement of which was upheld by an appellate court, based its findings about the guilt of the accused on the evidence obtained in the case, including the testimony of the accused and witnesses, as well as written evidence from the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office, the information contained in the documents received within the framework of the legal assistance of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine, as well as the information gained from the inspection and search reports, the information of the Security Police and the report of the Security Police official.

The Senate also points out that the appellate court has reasonably acknowledged that sufficient and credible evidence has been obtained of the fact that the accused was in the territory of Ukraine from February 19, 2015 to May 5, 2016, as he illegally participated in the armed conflict as a gunner of the Intelligence Diversion Group of the Squadron Brigade of the 7th Corps of the 1st Army of the Ministry of Defence of the Armed Forces of the “Donetsk People's Republic”, as well as he participated in the parade on May 9, 2015 as a member of the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic.

Consequently, the Senate acknowledged that the arguments stated in the accused's cassation complaint express the complainant's dissatisfaction with the appellate court's conclusions, when assessing the evidence obtained in the case, and seek to have the appellate court's decision annulled not for legal but factual reasons which contradict provisions of Section 569, Paragraph one of the Criminal Procedure Law. Thus, the ground for refusal to initiate cassation proceedings provided for in the Criminal Procedure Law has been established.

Decision of the Senate, Case No SKK-186/2022 (11840001216)



Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court

Tel.: +371 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv