The EU presence on Oct. 1, they say in their appeal,
will give a powerful and much needed signal regarding a trial with serious
implications for Ukraine’s justice system.
The signal would be similar to that given
by the EU’s firm stance demanding the release of imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Yulia
Tymoshenko. There may be no high-profile opposition figures in the Zaporizhya
case, no political context, but there is a shared fatal element highlighting
systemic problems in Ukraine.
The “case of the sacristans” gained
prominence because of the role played by President Viktor Yanukovych. That role
is widely deemed to be the determining factor in this case, with the guilt of
the three young defendants seen as questionable, but largely immaterial.