This was stated in the verdict of the Kyiv district court of Kharkiv, Censor.NET reports citing Kharkov.vlast.ua.
The involvement of four defendants in the riots on April 7, 2014 was recognized at the court session held on March 15, as the assault was captured on cameras.
The rioters "broke into the first floor of the building and started throwing stones, planks, stun grenades, thunder flashes, and making shots with unidentified weapons at law enforcement officers protecting this building."
Several police officers received light bodily injuries, and one law enforcer was seriously injured as a result of the "conscious and concerted" actions of the violent protesters.
Having seized the building, the rioters, including the four defendants, got into groups and started entering the offices on all floors and destroying the property" of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration and Kharkiv Regional Council.
Participation of the accused in those actions was proved by the footage and images captured on cell phone cameras.
No one of the accused pleaded guilty. All of them excused themselves by the fact that despite their sympathy with the invaders, they came to the square in front of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration not to go on the rampage or seize the building, but "just out of curiosity", "to bring blankets and food to the protesters," and even "to capture the event as it happens." They explained that they were wearing masks and helmets to protect themselves from the smoke in the premises. The offenders also claimed that they "just drank tea and watched TV" inside the regional administration building.
Nevertheless, the judge found the guilt of all four defendants fully proved and confirmed by the testimonies of the witnesses, on-site inspection reports, expert findings, reports on inspection of the cell phones belonging to the defendants and other parties involved in the events, and videos from the scene.
"The justice seemed to be served as the villains had been brought to account, but no such luck! Kyiv district court Judge Viktoria Cherednyk suddenly filled with empathy for the accused despite the evidence. It turned out that three of them had minor children, all of them "were positively assessed by their neighbors," and even a mother of a defendant asked for indulgence for her son... All of this had so strongly tugged at the heartstrings of Judge Cherednyk that she handed them a five-year suspended sentence and set them free in the courtroom," say the authors of the article.
The prosecutor's office of the Kharkiv region intends to appeal against the court ruling.
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