Where is Anatoli Sharii located? That is the big question that hangs over right now the open extradition in the National High Court against this Ukrainian journalist, blogger and politician claimed by his country for “high treason and incitement to hatred”. With the support of the Prosecutor’s Office, Judge Santiago Pedraz ordered the file against the reporter on September 26 after receiving a communication from the kyiv authorities that Sharii had left Spain and had traveled “possibly” to Italy. A transfer that denies his defense, which insists that he is still in Catalonia and that he has never left the country.
The filing of the extradition concerns Gonzalo Boye, the journalist’s lawyer, who explains that this measure implies that, once again, he will once again appear in the police search and seizure databases. And, therefore, they can arrest him again in Spain, as happened last May, when he was arrested in his house in the coastal town of Roda de Berà (Tarragona), where he has been living for years. Then, the National Police executed the arrest warrant issued by Ukraine, which accuses him of being in the service of Russia since 2014 and of encouraging “separatist tendencies”. An accusation that he denies: “I am not, [prorruso]. I have no contacts with Russia”, he said in a conversation with EL PAÍS in May 2021.
According to Pedraz in a car to which this newspaper had access, “a communication was received from the Ukrainian authorities regarding the possible presence of the person claimed in Italy.” Then, he reported this to the Prosecutor’s Office, which ruled in favor of shelving the extradition “since Sharii was not in Spanish territory.” A shelving of the case that the judge finally gave on September 26 —“since he has been absent from the country going to Italy,” he says in his letter—, before notifying Interpol and the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs of the situation.
However, Gonzalo Boye warns that the journalist has not moved from Spain. “He lives where he always does,” says the lawyer, who charges kyiv for “deceiving” the court. The lawyer also states that they have already sent the National High Court a detailed document with tickets, photos and videos that “demonstrate” that he is still in the country. According to the defense, before it was filed, he asked Pedraz to open a separate secret room to show him all the evidence that proves that Sharii has not left and that it would include the testimony of his security team and the images of the cameras installed in Your domicile. Now, apostille, has appealed the decision to shelve the case.
The reporter, with more than three million followers on YouTube, has continued to upload videos in recent days. Strongly critical of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s policies, Anatoli Sharii left Ukraine a decade ago. According to him, he says, because he felt persecuted for denouncing cases of political corruption. Next, he settled in Roda de Berà with his wife and created a political party, which ended up being banned. The journalist assures that, since then, he has received in Spain a multitude of threats from Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups, which even led him to file a complaint that fell to a judge in Tarragona.
The kyiv intelligence services maintain, since before the Russian invasion, that Sharii helped Moscow with its “subversive” activities during the 2014 war in Donbas. He accuses him of publishing false information and of, through the internet, “inciting interethnic hatred” with the videos he uploads to YouTube. After arresting him in May, the National Court released him, but forced him to appear in the court closest to his home twice a month. According to Boye, at the beginning of October he went back to sign, after the order filing the extradition had already been issued.
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