Criminal proceedings against local council deputies in the Chernihiv region

Anna Lepekha, Chernihiv Women’s Human Rights Centre

Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the status of deputies of local councils” were passed on 4 April 2006.  Since that time, the Chernihiv Regional Prosecutor’s office has launched criminal proceedings over offences allegedly committed by deputies or those officials with equivalent status.

The offences in all cases are economic in nature. They include embezzlement of funds by officials of a village council, faking decisions of local councils on allocating land or transferring property, receiving subsidies without any justification or unwarranted non-payment of employees’ wages. Several criminal investigations relate to non-payment over many years of tax on profits held back from the salary of an employee

Overall seven out of 12 cases have reached the courts. The court rulings have not yet been passed, however this is a question of time.

The so-called “immunity” of deputies of local councils led to many negative features, including the habit of being able to act with impunity.

Anna Lepekha, the Chernihiv Women’s Human Rights Centre

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