More than 40 thousand permissions for the collection of information from telecommunication channels were issued by Ukrainian courts in 2002
This number is much more than the similar number in other countries. These data were made public by Evhen Zakharov, the head of the Kharkov group for human rights protection, at the public hearings of the law draft “On monitoring of telecommunications”, which was held on Wednesday. The maximal number of such permissions (about 4000) were issued, by his words, in the Kharkov oblast.
“722 criminal groups were disclosed in 2002. These groups included 3.2 thousand persons, who committed 6.5 thousand crimes. 653 persons were condemned for organization of crimes committed by criminal groups. All in all, 41 persons were brought to criminal responsibility. 51 criminal groups (237 persons) were uncovered in the Kharkov oblast. The number of the condemned in the oblast during the year was 3793, and the number of issued permissions for the collection of information was 4000. This is incomprehensible”, said the human rights protector.
Mr. Zakharov reminded that the monitoring might be realized only after the court decision for the investigation of grave or especially grave crimes.
According to E. Zakharov, the procedure of issuing the court permission is realized on the basis of Letter No. 16/6 of the Supreme Court of 1996. This letter does not envisage the maximal period of the monitoring, and this is one of the main elements of similar legal documents in other countries. Moreover, the letter was not registered in the Ministry of Justice, so, according to Article 57 of the Constitution of Ukraine, it may not be regarded as valid. Thus, the courts apply the document of doubtful political validity.
("Zerkalo nedeli", No. 46, 29 November-5 December 2003)