Ivan Teleguz faces execution, despite the fact that two key witnesses who said he was responsible for murder have since admitted lying. Virginia’s authorities are refusing to allow courts to consider this crucial new evidence that he is innocent, based on a technicality which means it is, in their view, ‘irrelevant.’
Ivan, a Ukrainian, was sentenced to death in 2006 on the basis of claims he had hired two men to kill his former girlfriend. Since then, two witnesses who said he was responsible – and on whose testimony the prosecution’s case was built – have admitted that they lied, after being pressured into doing so by the authorities in exchange for reduced sentences for their own crimes.
However, the Virginian authorities have refused to allow this vital new evidence to be considered, as they say the case is now at too late a stage for this to happen. As a result, Ivan faces death not because of guilt, but due to inflexible, bureaucratic rules.
Legal action charity Reprieve is calling on the state of Virginia to stop the execution from going ahead, and allow this man to present evidence of his innocence.