18 January 2014, 11:14

Nikolai Viktorovich Yarst

Yarst

Nikolai Yarst (born in January 1979 in the town of Kropotkin of the Krasnodar Territory) is a journalist, a correspondent of the "Russian Public TV" TV Channel in Sochi. On May 31, 2013, he was charged with drug possession. The journalist himself and his colleagues believe the charge was fabricated.

Professional activities

In 1993, he started his professional career at the "Vox" TV Channel as a leader of the music and entertainment programme "Starfall".

In 2002-2006, he worked as a correspondent of the TV shows "Today in Russia" ("Echo", the "RTVI" TV Channel), "Unbelievable Stories" and "Eyewitness" (the "REN-TV" TV Channel), a news editor at the "Accent" TV Channel (Krasnodar), and an editor of the newspaper "Zhizn" (Life) (Krasnodar).

In 2006-2008, he worked as the head of the correspondent point and a correspondent of the "TV Centre" TV Company in Northern Caucasus (Pyatigorsk).

During the period from April 2008 till October 2012, Nikolai Yarst worked as the head of the correspondent point and the correspondent of the "TV Centre" TV Company in Sochi.

Starting from March 2013, Nikolai Yarst works as a correspondent of the autonomous non-commercial organization (ANO) "Russian Public TV" in Sochi.

Nikolai Yarst permanently cooperates with federal TV Channels, including the "Pervy Kanal" TV Channel (the special projects studio, the shows "Dobroe Utro" (Good Morning), "Pust Govoryat" (Let Them Talk), "Bez Kompleksov" (Without Fetishism), the "REN-TV" TV Channel (the analytical TV show "A week with Marianna Maksimovskaya"). He also cooperates with TV shows "Vremechko" (the "ATV" TV Channel), the "24 Hours" (the "REN-TV" TV Channel), and with the project "Stikhiya" (Nature) (the "NTV" TV Channel).

Nikolai Yarst cooperates with foreign media as a producer, reporter, and assistant to chief editor. In particular, he has taken part in the preparation of radio materials and a series of TV stories for the BBC (London) dedicated to Cossacks and historical traditions of the South of Russia.

Professional awards

Nikolai Yarst has been awarded:

- the Second Degree "Silver Cross" of the Terek Cossack Army for a series of materials on Cossacks on the "TV CENTRE" TV Channel (08.12.2007, Stavropol).

- the diploma of the Fourth All-Russian contest of journalistic work "Arbitrariness in the law" in the nomination "Violations of socio-economic rights of citizens" in the "TV" section: the diploma for TV story entitled "Dispersal of protest action of entrepreneurs in Krasnodar" on the "RTVI" TV Channel (27.10.2006, Moscow).

- the diploma for highlighting activities of services and departments of the Azov-Black Sea Transport UVD (Interior Department) in connection with the 84th anniversary of the establishment of the transport police in Russia, at the "TV CENTRE" TV Channel (18.02.2003, Krasnodar).

Prosecution

On May 23, 2013, Sochi law enforcers detained a camera crew of the "Russian Public TV" consisting of journalist Nikolai Yarst and cameraman Filipp Vasilenko. The policemen searched their car and found a package containing gray-green substance.

According to an official from the Sochi UVD (Interior Department), the law enforcers found drugs in the detainees' car. The criminal case was instituted on the above fact under Part 2 of Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal possession, purchase, and transport of drugs on a large scale).

Nikolai Yarst claimed their car did not contain the package till the car was stopped by the policemen. Nikolai Yarst himself and his colleagues believe that his prosecution can be associated with his journalist investigation into the disappearance of a 7-year-old girl: after her mother's death, two men claimed their rights to the paternity.

On May 25, the Central District Court of Sochi pronounced to Nikolai Yarst a pre-trial restriction measure in the form of recognizance not to leave.

On May 31, Nikolai Yarst was charged with illegal possession of drugs on a large scale.

On June 3, the Court changed the pre-trial restriction measure against Nikolai Yarst to home arrest.

On June 7, investigator Liana Khachatryan informed Nikolai Yarst and his defence that the investigation had been completed. On June 11, the Nikolai Yarst's advocate reported on reopening of the investigation on newly discovered evidence; however, on June 12, the completion of the investigation was announced once again.

On June 25, Liana Khachatryan, the investigator of the OVD (Interior Division) of the Central District of Sochi, reported that the preliminary investigation into the case against Nikolai Yarst was resumed for the second time.

On July 22, Sergey Plakhotnyuk, prosecutor of the Central District of Sochi, refused to approve the indictment against Nikolai Yarst and returned his case for further investigation.

On December 3, 2013, Liana Khachatryan, the investigator of the OVD of the Central District of Sochi, made the decision to change the pre-trial restriction measure against journalist Nikolai Yarst from home arrest to recognizance not to leave.

On January 17, 2014, at the investigator's request, the GUVD (Chief Interior Department) of the Krasnodar Territory prolonged the investigation into the case against Nikolai Yarst till January 29.

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