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Newspaper lawyer alleges police planted drugs in his apartment

(IMI/IFEX) - 3 September 2010 - Lawyer Vyacheslav Ismaylov claims the police planted drugs in his apartment during a search. The police reportedly found 5-10 grammes of an unspecified substance in a plastic bag, the "Vecherniy Kharkov" daily reported on 3 September. Ismaylov is the lawyer looking into the disappearance of journalist Vasyl Klymentyev, who has been missing since 11 August.

On 2 September, the police and the "Berkut" special forces unit forced the lock and entered the lawyer's apartment. Through the apartment's intercom, Ismaylov said he was afraid the policemen would plant something to put him in a compromising position.

"The police officers broke the door and burst into the apartment," Ismaylov said. "They said the reason was to conduct a search relating to a criminal case (Ismaylov did not specify what criminal case this was). I have a judge's ruling which forbade any investigative operation. The investigator bit my son on the shoulder, and we suffered some injuries. They seized my computer."

Ismaylov is planning to file a complaint against the police officers who searched his apartment and intends to ask for two million hryvnias (approx. US$250,000) in damages.

The Kharkiv regional police department claimed the search was not related to the Klymentyev case. They said the action against the lawyer was linked to criminal activity by Edward Ismaylov, the lawyer's son.

Edward Ismaylov told the UNIAN news agency over the phone that the police had "broken the door and damaged the wall. They beat my mother and father. The investigator bit me." Earlier, while the search was being carried out, the journalists tried to reach the lawyer by phone. Several times a woman picked up the phone and begged for help. Afterwards, Edward Ismaylov picked up the receiver and explained what was going on in the apartment.

It is possible that the investigators are trying to exert pressure in connection with the case of the missing journalist. "The fact is that Ismaylov is involved in the investigation of the Klymentyev case because he is the legal adviser for the 'Noviy Stil' newspaper and he has written some analyses for the paper," IMI noted.

"The unlawful actions the law enforcers took against Ismaylov make us suppose the investigators wanted to obtain certain results in this case which do not correspond to the objective truth", IMI lawyer Roman Golovenko said. "The investigators may be trying to avoid any criticism from Ismaylov who is aware of several facts surrounding the Klymentyev case".

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