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22.05.2004

Wiretapping Oct.1998

   

Section 2 of the Directive of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, No.9 of November 1, 1996, „On referring to the Constitution in administering justice“ contains the following statement: „A warrant for entering one’s home or some other estate, or for stopping one’s correspondence, or for intercepting one’s correspondence in postal or telegraph offices, or for any other interception of information from any communication channels is given by court only“. On the results of considering materials about giving a warrant, which is done by the court, with keeping the investigation secret, a procedural resolution is taken. On the basis of this directive, a warrant for wiretapping is now given not by a prosecutor, as it is stipulated in the law on Operative and Detective Actions (ODA), but by the court. However, the law on ODA has not been modified, the Penal Procedural Code contains no directions on the procedure of obtaining a warrant for wiretapping, so it seems that this procedure is not based on law, but is regulated by sum sublegal, perhaps secret orders in the special services that carry out ODA.

It should be also noted that the list of the ministries, agencies and departments that carry out ODA has been substantially increased. The tax inspection has obtained the right for ODA, and undoubtedly the National Bureau of investigations, which is being created now, will obtain it too. It is also worth of noting that the new edition of the Ukrainian law on the tax inspection grants it all the rights, which agencies of the Ministry of Interior have, without stipulating, in fact, any responsibility for violating law. The tax militia performs all the functions of the crime investigation and court: it investigates crimes connected with dodging tax, serves as a prosecutor at court, acts as an advocate, takes a court decision and even mercy the accused by deciding to keep a case from the court.

When the law on the Directorate of the state guard was considered the then Head of the USS General-Colonel Vladimir Radchenko said in his interview to the newspaper „Kievskie Vedomosti“: „Nowadays everyone wants to use the ODA, and it is difficult to understand who eavesdrop on whom. Do we have a police state? In the USS this business is legally grounded. We have created a system of measures preventing any opportunity for the authorities to use investigation methods without sanctions. But I am not sure that such control is set in other services. Thousands of non-government security services have been created in the country, which work without control and without responsibility. Recently we have detained persons who had ID almost identical with those for USS men. Regretfully, even some of our generals signed these documents. We are directing the materials to the prosecutor’s office.“ („Kievskie Vedomocti“, 11 February 1998).

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