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TWO Ukrainian communist brothers have appealed to the European Parliament for support after what they described as a show trial opened last week.
Alexander and Mikhail Kononovich were banned from attending the hearing which took place on Thursday and Friday, instead appearing via video-link.
“I want to address the European left. Comrades, we appeal to you and want the deputies of the European Parliament to visit Ukraine and attend our next court session.
“So that they themselves can see and tell the whole world how people are put on trial in Ukraine,” Mikhail Kononovich said.
The brothers also called on European media outlets to attend their hearing “so that the whole world can see the true face of the Zelensky regime.”
Last week’s hearing opened without the presence of a lawyer who was told that there would be no trial.
After he left the judge opened proceedings and heard the case without without either the defendants or their legal counsel present.
“Yesterday and today we were not brought to court,” the brothers said. “They are afraid that we are telling the truth. But the truth will still come out.”
They claimed that they have not been allowed to speak to a lawyer and insist that the case against them is “completely fabricated, from start to finish.”
“We consider this a provocation against the state of Ukraine,” they said.
“We were arrested on ethnic grounds, we are ethnic Belarusians. In the centre of Europe, people are imprisoned on the basis of nationality, that I am the leader, and Sasha [Alexander] is the deputy of the Belarusian community,” Mikhail Kononovich said.
“There is no democracy in Ukraine and there can be no question. This is evidenced by our arrest, our trial,” he continued.
Alexander Kononovich said that the right to criticise the government is enshrined in the Ukrainian constitution and that they should not be facing trial.
The brothers were detained on March 3 soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prominent communist youth leaders, they were accused of spying for Russia and Belarus.
It was feared they were to be executed in the immediate aftermath of their arrest, however the European Union has ignored appeals to ensure their safety raised by the Greek Communist Party.
Last month they were pictured alive for the first time, although their lawyer said they had been tortured and threatened with life in prison unless they admitted to the charges against them.
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