New defense lawyer for Russian citizen Alexandrov being tried in Ukraine vows to honestly perform duties
Valentyn Rybin, the new defense lawyer for Russian citizen Alexander Alexandrov, who is being tried in Ukraine, has been shocked by a video made public by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office and showing the slain lawyer Yuriy Hrabovsky; Rybin says also that no pressure has been put on him.
"There is no, and I believe won't be, any pressure on me, because my actions cannot cause anyone's anger or the desire to reckon with me somehow. I am open and ready to work," he said.
"In fact, it's hard for me to comment on this video, because it's horrible. The video is horrible also in what Yura [Hrabovsky] is saying in it, and I am sure he was not saying this voluntarily," Rybin said in commenting on the video.
Rybin said he was continuing to examine Alexandrov's case. In commemoration of his colleague's death, he vowed to perform his duties in good faith.
It was reported earlier that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies had been unaware of Hrabovsky's whereabouts, starting on March 5. Anatoliy Matios, a deputy prosecutor general and the main military prosecutor, said on March 20, that a person suspected of organizing Hrabovsky's disappearance had been detained and arrested.
Reports on Hrabovsky's death emerged on the morning of March 25. Matios said the same day that Hrabovsky had been shot and killed, and that another person suspected of involvement in the lawyer's murder had been detained, and showed the scene of the murder and the place where the lawyer's body had been buried.
Matios released a video on March 29, in which Hrabovsky says to a person off-screen, "I, the lawyer Yuriy Leonidovych Hrabovsky, promise and commit myself to stop providing legal assistance to the defendant Alexander Anatolyevich Alexandrov in the criminal proceedings handled by the Holosiyivsky District Court of the city of Kyiv."
Asked by the person off-screen why he made this decision, Hrabovsky replies, "I consider it impossible to defend him in this case." Asked "Why impossible? Have you realized your mistake?" Hrabovsky replies, "Yes, I've realized my mistake."