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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 679
Press by
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Court Extends Korban's Detention By 60 Days After Masked Men Attack His Supporters Last Night
5 years
Ukraine Reports 14 Attacks Today

The Dniprovsky district court in Kiev has ordered that Hennadiy Korban, leader of the UKROP party, be held in custody for a further 60 days, following dramatic clashes in the courtroom last night in the controversial and politicised trial process.

Ukrainska Pravda reports that the judge, Mykola Chaus, approved the Prosecutor's Office request that Korban be detained until February 25. 

Korban himself responded that his lawyers would appeal the decision and asked his supporters to be calm before he was led from the hall.

"I ask for you to maintain order, because this may now lead to casualties. I don't want anyone to be injured because of me."

Last night, a large group of masked men gained access to the courtroom and attacked Korban's supporters, who claim that the Prosecutor-General, Viktor Shokin, is pursuing the case for political reasons.

UNIAN reported that police in the court failed to intervene and stood by observing as the men started beating supporters and journalists.

The group, who UNIAN refers to as titushki - provocateurs or hired thugs named after Vadym Titushko,  a mixed martial arts fighter who attacked reporters in 2013 - was repelled after being sprayed with a fire extinguisher.

Video uploaded by the UKROP party: 

Despite the lack of action against the attacking group, police, UKROP claims, detained two party activists - Valentyn Simansky and Vadym Sarakhman.

UNIAN:

A party representative said, citing the words of masked police officers, that "'they [the detained] have been taken away,' and now they're threatening me and all others, saying that they will take all of us out of here." "It's lawlessness," he added.

Yehor Sobolev, an MP in the Samopomich party (which is part of the governing coalition), arrived with fellow MP and former commander of the Donbass Battalion Semyon Semyonchenko at the courthouse last night and told reporters that the men who burst into the hall were in fact disguised law enforcement officers.

Gordon.ua reports that Sobolev said that the men had been tasked with abducting Korban so that they could inform him of his arrest in another room.

Sobolev claimed on his Facebook page that one police officer had told him that the attackers were members of the Alfa special forces unit of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU).

Sobolev warned that "a tragic end" would come to those he "who has decided to become a new Yanukovych."

Korban himself was only brought into court late yesterday after having been taken away in an ambulance on December 25 and undergoing a coronary stenting procedure.

His lawyers now have until December 31 to submit an appeal.

He is charged with creating a criminal gang and funding it via embezzlement, kidnapping and car theft.  


-- Pierre Vaux