Makiyivka resident awarded 50 thousand UAH for wrongful prosecution
59-year-old Viktor Natalukha from the town of Makiyivka in the Donetsk region was awarded moral damages over the wrongful initiating of a criminal investigation against him. Mr Natalukha, a former city council deputy, worked from 1990 to 2001 in a housing and communal services department in the Hornyatsky district of Makiyivka.
He recounts how they sent checks which, in his words, were in order to get money, but he refused to oblige. He says that they got the Service for fighting economic crime onto him, and he was charged with embezzlement of state property and bribe-taking. Over a hundred witnesses were questioned and an equal number of court hearings held before the criminal investigation was terminated at the end of December 2004.
During the investigation, Mr Natalukha was twice held in a SIZO [remand centre]. He recounts: “Theres no light there, or air. They threw me in with murderers. In the first cell there were 15 people, but more humanity than you got from the investigator. I suffer from diabetes, and in the cell they supported me, treated me with respect. I once worked with former prisoners, I know how to behave”.
After the case was terminated, Mr Natalukha filed a claim for compensation for both material and moral damages. the Hornyatsky District Court allowed the moral damages, while considerably reducing the amount awarded (he had sought 28,5 million UAH. It rejected the much more modest claim for material damages (for unemployment).
“My criminal investigation was fabricated for good police figures”, Mr Natalukha asserts. “All those who took part in it got promoted, while nobody will employ me.”
Viktor Natalukha is living with his parents. His wife has left him.
Based on a report at www.gpu.ua .