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Radicals stage disorder at May Odessa massacre trial in southern Ukraine

January 22, 2015, 16:23 UTC+3 ODESSA
The attackers were crying out “Glory to Ukraine” and “Glory to Heroes”
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House of Trade Unions on fire, Odessa, May 2014

House of Trade Unions on fire, Odessa, May 2014

© ITAR-TASS/Andrei Borovsky

ODESSA, January 22. /TASS/. Activists of Ukrainian far right nationalistic movement Right Sector and the so-called Maidan self-defense groups staged disorder Thursday at the building of a local court which is trying a criminal case over the May 2014 massacre which killed 48 in southern Ukrainian city of Odessa.

A group of radical activists broke into the court building and attacked close relatives and the next of kin of defendants, injured parties and their lawyers. They were crying out “Glory to Ukraine” and “Glory to Heroes” and were chanting insulting slogans against residents in war-torn east Ukrainian industrial Donbas. A brawl sparked up which police had to break up.

Due to the current tense situation the trial did not begin, because judges and other parties in the trial couldn't get into the courtroom. Meanwhile, a court session should be held, because the arrest of the defendants who have been kept in custody since May 2014 will expire in a few days.

It is not the first attempt to begin a trial to try this high-profile criminal case. At first the criminal case was brought to Primorsky court in the city of Odessa, where unrest stirred up by radicals also broke out in November, where the latter were beating up relatives of injured parties who came for the court session. After that the criminal case was transferred to Malinovsky district court.

A total of 48 people died and over 200 were injured in the tragic events that happened in May in Odessa. A sign-up campaign in support of a referendum turned into clashes between nationalist activists of the Right Sector and the Maidan self-defense groups on the one side and federalization supporters on the other side. The clashes resulted in the local House of Trade Unions being set on fire.

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